Snowboarding makes history as local hero wins Mens' Giant Slalom

By David Kurs

The slopes of Jakobshorn were the site of the Snowboarding Grand Slalom, marking the very first time that the sport of snowboarding has appeared at the World Games for the Deaf.

Facing some wind and icier slopes than usual, falls were common throughout the races. The snowboarders' two Grand Slalom runs were combined into one time, resulting in the final score.

The women went first, and Marlene Tutzer (ITA) blazed ahead with a time of 1,10,76—11 seconds faster than the closest competitor, Lisa Tempesta (USA). Stanko Pavlica, from the home country of the Games, put in a stunning first run time of 59,06 to place himself in an early lead. In the second run, owing to fatigue and high winds, falls became more prevalent. Ironically, Tutzer and Pavlica overcame falls early in the run to finish first in the Women's and Men's categories, respectively. Tutzer finished with a final time of 2:30.54, ahead of the 38-year old Tempesta (2:38.70) and the third-place finisher, Raychelle Harris (2:42.12).

In the Men's Grand Slalom, Pavlica finished with a time of 2:11.93, giving him first place. Prior to that, Darrick DeLaO (USA) put in a good time of 2:15.25, ahead of his third-place teammate, Jeff Pollock (2:20.44). USA and Switzerland combined to win the top six spots.

The event was attended by a good number of people who enjoyed the beautiful skies and views of the Alps, adding to the good spirit of the event. Pavlica exemplifies a true sportsman—he has been snowboarding for 8 years and just began racing in recent months. When asked how he felt about his win, he said, "I feel good about it- and I hope the last-place finisher feels as good about as his performance because that's what snowboarding culture is all about."