Paralympic skier Corey Peters has claimed New Zealand’s first medal at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Paralympics. Peters, a 34-year-old from New Plymouth, won bronze in the Men’s Downhill Sitting alpine ski event after delivering an impressive run straight out of the gates.
The athlete took to Instagram to say he was “so pleased to have made the podium” and acknowledged the hard work and perseverance it has taken him to get there. After being left wheelchair-bound from a 2009 motocross accident, Peters turned to skiing and went on to win gold in Vancouver in 2010. He is ranked 3rd and 8th in the world for Men’s Super-G Sitting and Downhill Sitting.
Peters was also the flagbearer at the opening ceremony, which he said was a great honour. “I feel so privileged and humbled to be named as the flag bearer for the New Zealand Paralympic Team”, he told RNZ. “I am so excited to lead the team and to know that all our supporters, especially my family, are watching us back in New Zealand will make the honour extraordinarily special.”
This year’s event is Peters’ fourth Paralympic Games. He was picked as a favourite before the 2018 games kicked off on March 9. Fellow Kiwi athlete Adam Hall placed fifth in the men’s downhill standing event. Snowboarder Carl Murphy is the only other Kiwi attending this year’s games, which sees 670 athletes competing in six different sports.