Great Britain’s Corie Mapp won the inaugural ParaBobsled World Cup in Igls, Austria, with a time of 2:12.50 seconds that narrowly beat second place finisher American Jason Sturm by 0.18 seconds. Canadian slider Lonnie Bisonette finished third.
Mapp is quoted by the BBC as saying about his win, “Being part of the world’s first ever Para bobsleigh race today was incredible. To win was something really special.
“I hope that I have done people proud – I’ve had so much support from many different people.
“Help for Heroes have been instrumental in supporting me to this point – it’s been great to have their backing.
“I love bobsleigh. I only tried it for the first time in Calgary last season so to be here in Austria, at the first ever race and win is just amazing.
“I feel so excited about where the sport is going and for our next race in St. Moritz next week.
“The field of athletes has been strong and there’s been some tough competition. It was an amazingly close race – only three-tenths of a second between the top four finishers.
“To think I nearly quit bobsleigh last summer to focus on my other sports. It’s been a fantastic experience to be here, with such a great group of competitors. ”
Mapp is a veteran, who lost his leg in Afghanistan after the vehicle he was riding in went over an improvised explosive device in 2010. He got on the bobsleigh for the first time last season in Calgary, Canada. He is also a sitting volleyball player, who represented Great Britain at last year’s Invictus Games.
Sturm had a crash in his first run down the track that nearly took him out of medal contention. He departed this afternoon for the bobsleigh track at St. Moritz.
Other competitors in the inaugural competition included Australians Mark Rollkart-Urquhart, Maarten de vlugt and Davin Bretherton, Americans Joshua Merryman, Dorian Michael Willes, Lance Roop Jr., Steven Jacobo and Eric E. Eierdam, Canadian Brian McPherson, and Spain’s Israel Blanco.
Bobsled and skeleton are both making bids to be included on the 2022 Winter Paralympics program after the International Paralympic Committee turned down a bid to be included on the 2018 program. Two cities are currently bidding to host those games, Almaty, Kazakhstan and Beijing, China.