Australia at the 1988 Winter Paralympics
|Australia at the
1988 Winter Paralympics
|NPC||Australian Paralympic Committee|
|Competitors||5 in 1 sport|
|Winter Paralympics appearances (overview)|
|Host city||Innsbruck, Austria|
|Events||96 in 4 sports|
|Opening ceremony||18 January|
|Closing ceremony||25 January|
|Officially opened by||Kurt Waldheim|
|Athlete's Oath||Josef Griel (Ice Sledge Hockey)|
|Paralympic torch||Josef Meusberger & Brigitte Rajchl (Alpine Skiers)|
The 1988 Winter Paralympic Games (German: Paralympische Winterspiele 1988) were the fourth Winter Paralympics, held again in Innsbruck, Austria. The Winter Paralympics first began on 18 January at 6pm and ended a week later on 25 January at 4pm. These were the last Winter Paralympics to be held in a separate location from the Summer Paralympic Games. Beginning in 1992, the Olympics and the Paralympics were held in the same city or in an adjacent city. These Winter Paralympics were not held at the same Olympic venue in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, due to the lack of manpower and financial difficulties.
A total of 377 athletes from 22 countries took part in. The USSR competing for the very first time in history. Australia only managed to take 5 athletes to the 1988 Winter Paralympics for the Alpine skiing competition. There were four different sports apart of the 1988 Winter Paralympic Games; Alpine Skiing, Biathlon, Cross-Country skiing and Ice Sledge Hockey. Biathlon and sit-skiing in the Alpine and Nordic competition were added to the Olympic program for the first time in history.
Just like the previous 1984 Winter Olympic games there was another shortage of snow in the valleys and mountains surrounding Innsbruck. Organisers were forced to put in extra work to move both the Alpine and Nordic events to venues which had higher altitudes.
All athletes who participated were classed in impairment groups of; Amputees, Blind and Visually Impaired, Cerebral Palsied, Les Autres and Spinal Cord Injuries.
- 1 Opening Ceremony
- 2 Logo
- 3 Participation Numbers
- 4 Sports
- 5 Medal table
- 6 Special Attendance
- 7 Administration
- 8 Events
- 9 Alpine skiing
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
The 1988 Winter Paralympics Ceremony began on 18 January at 6pm where the games were officially opened by Dr Kurt Walkdheim, President of Austria at the time. The ceremony took place in the same place as the 1984 Paralympic Games, the Innsbruck Olympic Ice Stadium. The Paralympic flame was lit by Josef Meusberger and Brigitte Rajchl, two Austrian Alpine Skiers. The oath was taken by another Austrian Olympian, Josef Griel who competed in Ice Sledge Hockey.
The 1988 Winter Paralympic logo was used previously in the 1984 games where it was a combination of three different parts.
- The centre of the logo shows a depiction of Goldenes Dachl (Golden Roof) - one of Innsbruck's most famous landmarks
- The Olympic rings were placed above the Golden Roof as the IOC agreed to allow the ICC to use on certain conditions
- 5 broken rings were found below the Goldenes Dachl which were aimed at the disability of athletes who took part in the 1988 Winter Paralympics.
The words 'Under the Patronage of the International Olympic Committee' were placed below the Olympic rings.
In 1982 the IOC agreed to work closely with the disabled sports movement when their Executive Board meeting agreed to allow the use of the Olympic rings in the logo for the 1984 World Winter Games for the Disabled (1984 Winter Paralympics). This was only agreed upon that the term 'Olympic' would be dropped from the ISOD's preferred title. This was the beginning of a closer working relationship between both the IOC and the disability sports movement.
A total of 22 countries where present at the 1988 Winter Paralympics with a total number of 377 athletes participating. Of the athletes participating, 300 of those were men and 77 were female. Austria was the top country to take a total of 52 athletes to the games with the United States of America close behind on 45. Australia had only managed to take a total of 5 men to these games, all who participated in the Alpine skiing event.
Table below displays the athletes who participated from each country.
|United States of America||USA||31||14||45|
|Total (22 NPCs)||300||77||377|
Hans Hinterholzer and Jamie Milner were the two team coaches for the Australian Alpine skiing events at the Innsbruck Paralympics. Australia was fortunate effort to take 5 Paralympic athletes to represent Australia in the 1988 Games in Innsbruck. Each athlete who competed did not qualify for a medal at these games. Four out of five of the Australian athletes competed in the Men's Downhill, Men's Giant Slalom and Men's Slalom apart from David Munk who only participated in the Men's Giant Slalom and Men's Slalom. Each athlete had different classifications ranging from upper body disabilities to lower body disabilities. All classifications of every athlete competing in the Paralympic Games of any sort are done so by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).
Michael Collins participated in the Men's Downhill LW6/8, Men's Giant Slalom LW6/8 and Men's Slalom. He was ranked 10 out of 23 athletes with a time of 1:18.86 in the Men's Downhill LW6/8. In the Men's Giant Slalom LW6/8 and the Men's Slalom Collins was unable to finish. Michael Collins was classed as an athlete who had upper extremity issues. This can range from a skier being classified in the LW6/8 category if they have paralysis, motor paresis affecting one arm or a single upper arm amputation.
Kyrra Grunnsund represented Australia in five Paralympics. He was the first Australian to compete at both the Summer and Winter Paralympics. He competed in both the Alpine and Cross-country skiing over the course of his career but in the 1988 Winter Paralympic Games he only competed in the Men's Downhill LW4, Men's Giant Slalom LW4 and Men's Slalom LW4. He ranked 13th out of 14 athletes in the Men's Downhill LW4 with a time of 1:19.78. In the Men's Giant Slalom LW4 and Men's Slalom LW4 he did not finish. Kyrra Grunnsund was classified as an athlete who had a disability in one lower extremity. He is a below-the-knee amputee and classed in the LW4 category for the Paralympics.
Evan Hodge competed in the 1988 men's Downhill LW2, Men's Giant Slalom LW2 and Men's Slalom. All three events he qualified and was ranked into the top 15 athletes. His best time was in the Men's Slalom LW2 with a time of 1:34.05 and was ranked 8th out of 33 competitors. Hodge was classified with having severe disability in a lower limb where an amputation or arthrodesis in the leg and hip. Specific skiing and training techniques have been developed for this LW2 skiers that address their disability type and equipment use. A factoring system is used in both para-Alpine and para-Nordic to allow different classes to compete against each other when there are not many competitors in one class in a competition.
Michael Milton grew up in a skiing family. At the age of 9 years old, his left leg was amputated above the knee due to bone cancer. After having an amputation, he was more determined to be able to ski again. Milton debuted in the 1992 Tignes-Albertville Winter Paralympics and has an extensive career in both Summer and Winter Paralympic games. He did compete in the 1988 Innsbruck games but did not qualify for a medal in any of the events he competed in. His best ranked event in the 1988 Paralympics was in the Men's Giant Slalom LW2 where he was ranked 11th out of 33 competitors. Like team mate Hodge, Milton was classed in the LW2 category for the Winter Paralympic games.
David Munk is an Australian Paralympic Alpine sit skier. He first debuted in the 1992 Winter Paralympics where he won a bronze medal in the Men's Super-G LW11. At the 1988 Winter Paralympics he was unfortunately disqualified from the Men's Giant Slalom LW10 but was able to rank 13th out of 29 competitors in the Men's Slalom LW10. He was classed in the LW10 category due to the little support he had when sitting up right. The International Paralympic Committee defined this para-Alpine classification as; a disability in the lower limbs and no sitting balance. Athletes who were classed in this category were given physical equipment adapted to their specific needs.
Alpine sit-skiing is an adaption to Alpine skiing for those with disabilities. Alpine skiing consists of athletes having to combine both speed and agility while racing down the slopes at speeds of approximately 100 km/h. Paralympic competition accommodates for both male and female athletes with physical impairment and visual impairments. Athletes are able to compete against each other in three different but fair categories despite their different functional ability. These groups are; standing, sitting and blind where the skiing disciplines include Downhill, Super-G, Giant Slalom, Slalom, Super Combined and Snowboard.
The International Ski Federation (FIS) can be used with only few modifications. For example, professional athletes who participate in Alpine sit-skiing and have visual impairments are guided through the course via sighted guides using voice signals in comparison to athletes who have physical impairments and are able to use equipment that is adapted to their specific needs.
Table below is categorised by Country and provides the amount of athletes, both male and female, who participated in Alpine Skiing in 1988 Winter Paralympics.
|United States of America||22||11||33|
|Total (21 NPCs)||167||36||203|
The table above displays that a total of 203 competitors from 21 different countries, both male and female, competed in the Alpine skiing. Majority of the athletes were male.
Alpine- Downhill and Super-G
The Alpine competition consists of 10 events; 5 for women and 5 for men. The downhill is the longest course at the highest speeds. Super-G (Super Giant Slalom), is an event which combines downhill speeds with turns of giant slalom. Each athlete makes one run down the single course and the fastest time determines the winner.
Alpine- Slaloms/Super Combined
The shortest course with the quickest turns in the alpine event is the Slaloms. It consists of few turns where athletes make two runs down the two separate courses which are comprised in the same slop. The times are added together and the fastest time determines the winner. In comparison to the Slaloms, the super combined is one short downhill run followed by a one-run slalom where athletes with the fastest time to the bottom wins.
Biathlon was first introduced in the 1988 Winter Paralympic games. Competitors who have a physical impairment and visual impairment are able to compete. Biathlon consists of a 7.5 kilometres route which is divided into three 2.5 kilometres stages. Between the two stages athletes have to hit targets which are located at a distance of 10 metres. Every miss is penalised where the penalty increases the overall time for each competitor. Athletes with blindness or visual impairment are assisted by acoustic signals. and depending on whether the athlete is on target will depend on the signal intensity.
Total number of athletes who competed in the Biathlon in the 1988 Winter Paralympic Games is displayed in the table below
|United States of America||4||0||4|
|Total (8 NPCs)||36||0||36|
The table above shows that only 36 male athletes from 8 different countries participated in the newly founded Biathlon competition. 
Cross-country skiing has been around since the 1976 Winter Games in Ornskoldsvik, Sweden. It is a form of skiing where skiers move across snow-covered terrain. Cross-country skiing varied in lengths according to the rules which are sanctioned by the FIS. Ahtletes who participate train to achieve endurance, strength, speed, skill and flexibility at different levels of intensity. It consists of 12 different skiing events where women are able to compete in the sprint, team sprint, 10 km individual start, 15 km pursuit, 30 km mass start and 4x5 relay. In comparison to women, men compete in sprints, team sprints, 15 km individual start, 30 km pursuit, 50 km mass start and 4x10km relay.
Cross-country sit skiing was introduced to the 1988 Winter Paralympics where competitors with leg impairments use a chair. The chair is supported with a suspension device over a pair of skies to allow athletes to participate.
The table below displays the total number of both male and female competitors who competed in the Cross-country skiing event at the 1988 WInter Paralympic Games. 
|United States of America||9||3||12|
|Total (17 NPCs)||125||39||164|
The table above shows that 125 male athletes and 39 female athletes from 17 different countries competed in the cross country skiing at the 1988 Innsbruck Winter Paralympic Games.
Ice Sledge Speed Racing
Ice Sledge Speed Racing was contested at the Winter Paralympics from the 1980 to the 1998 Winter Games. It is an indoor event where athletes use a lightweight sledge and propel themselves using two poles. The sport comprises 100m, 500m, 700m, 1000m and 1500m races.
|United States of America||9||3||12|
|Total (17 NPCs)||125||39||164|
The table above shows the total number of both male and female competitors who competed in the Ice Sledge Speed Skating event at the 1988 WInter Paralympic Games.
Ice sledge speed racer Knut Lundstroem of Norway was the most successful male athlete of the 1988 Winter Paralympic Games. He winning three gold medals in the cross country events and four gold medals in Ice Sledge Speed Racing over 100m, 500m, 1,000m and 1,500m. Norway's Ragnild Myklebust was the most outstanding female athlete of the 1988 Winter Paralympic Games. She won a total of five gold medals; two gold medals in the cross country events and three gold medals in Ice Sledge Speed
|6||United States of America||USA||7||17||6||30|
|Total (15 NPCs)||96||93||90||279|
The games were attended by Queen Silvia of Sweden who attended the Nordic and Alpine events. This revealed the continuing connection between the royal family and the Paralympic Movement that existed since King Carl Gustaf was the patron of the Ornskoldsvik 1976 Paralympic Games.
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|Michael Collins||Men's Downhill LW6/8||1:18.86||10|
|Men's Giant Slalom LW6/8|
|Kyrra Grunnsund||Men's Downhill LW4||1:19.78||13|
|Men's Giant Slalom LW4||DNF|
|Men's Slalom LW4||DNF|
|Evan Hodge||Men's Downhill LW2||1:29.35||15|
|Men's Giant Slalom LW2||2:07.86||12|
|Men's Slalom LW2||1:34.05||8|
|Michael Milton||Men's Downhill LW2||1:29.35||15|
|Men's Giant Slalom LW2||2:07.62||11|
|Men's Slalom LW2||1:38.12||12|
|David Munk||Men's Giant Slalom LW10||DSQ|
|Men's Slalom LW10||2:26.54||13|
- Australia at the Winter Paralympics
- Australia at the 1988 Summer Paralympics
- 1988 Winter Olympics
- 1988 Summer Paralympics
- From Stoke Mandeville to Sochi: A History of the Summer and Winter Paralympic Games
- "Innsbruck 1988 Paralympics - Ceremonies, Medals, Torch Relay". www.paralympic.org. Retrieved 2016-09-14.
- Brittain, Ian (2014). From Stoke Mandeville to Sochi: A History of the SUmmer and Winter Paralympic Games. Champaign: III : Common Ground Publishing. ISBN 9781612294124 – via http://web.a.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail/detail?sid=8ab81fc9-48ab-4b2a-9c42-346090e63a99%40sessionmgr4009&vid=0&hid=4106&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=nlebk&AN=1022521&anchor=tocAnchor.
- "Innsbruck 1988 Paralympics - Ceremonies, Medals, Torch Relay". www.paralympic.org. Retrieved 2016-10-20.
- "Paralympic Results & Historical Records". www.paralympic.org. Retrieved 2016-10-14.
- "Paralympic Results & Historical Records- Michael Downhill". www.paralympic.org. Retrieved 2016-10-20.
- "Classification Information Sheet" (PDF). International Paralympic Committee. International Paralympic Committee. 3 June 2013.
- "Paralympic Results & Historical Records". www.paralympic.org. Retrieved 2016-10-20.
- "Paralympic Results & Historical Records- Alpine". www.paralympic.org. Retrieved 2016-10-20.
- "Alpine Skiing - About the Sport". www.paralympic.org. Retrieved 2016-10-20.
- "International Ski Federation - Olympic Sport". International Olympic Committee. 2016-08-02. Retrieved 2016-10-20.
- "Sports Summary". Australian Paralympic Committee. Australian Paralympic Committee. 2016.
- "Paralympic Results & Historical Records- Biathlon". www.paralympic.org. Retrieved 2016-10-20.
- "Sport Summary". Australian Paralympic Committee. Australian Paralympic Committee. 2016.
- "Nordic Skiing - About the Sport". www.paralympic.org. Retrieved 2016-10-20.
- "Paralympic Results & Historical Records- Cross Country". www.paralympic.org. Retrieved 2016-10-20.
- "Paralympic Results & Historical Records- Ice Sledge". www.paralympic.org. Retrieved 2016-10-20.
- "Racing history". Disabled Winter Sport Australia website. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
- "Australia - 1988 Winter Paralympics". International Paralympic Committee Historical Results Database. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
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