Setbacks for Kiwi Skiers 2 Mar 1998


A series of minor setbacks won't hold the New Zealand DIsabled Ski Team back on its way to compete in the Winter Paralympics in Nagano, Japan.

One of New Zealand's big medal hopefuls, Cantabrian Steve Bayley, suffered an injury to his ankle after intense racing and training in North America. A below the knee amputee, Bayley has been resting his injury in order to be fit for Nagano, and should be fit for the Paralympics to begin in four days time.

Four members of the New Zealand delegation missed their international flight due to heavy rain in Los Angeles and had to stay a night in the city. They finally arrived in Japan at 1am on the 26th February having left the United States two days earlier.

Once they arrived, the team's only blind skier, Aucklander Sue Walker, was struck with a twenty-four hour bug. She now appears to have recovered from her illness completely.

Cantabrian Rachael Battersby, the youngest member of the team at 19 years, cut her hand with a file while sharpening her ski edges. She has had butterfly stitches to her hand and thumb but is expected to be fit to race in the next few days.

Battersby only has one hand after deciding, three years ago, to have her paralysed arm amputated in order for her to ski better.

All six members of the New Zealand Ski Team are feeling positive about the upcoming Paralympics and are taking the opportunity to train, explore the mountain, and get lots of rest.

It is hoped that the weather will not cause the same problems for the Paralympics as it did for the Olympics two weeks ago.


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