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Chris Devlin-Young: No joy in mudville aka Sochi

March 11, 2014

Here are updates on Paralympian, Chris Devlin-Young, written by his wife, Donna.  If you thought the conditions were challenging for the Olympics, then read on to learn what the Paralympians are facing.

All photos from Donna Devlin-Young’s Facebook page.

MAR 10 SOCHI CDY/SIT SKI UPDATE: “2014: THE HELICOPTER GAMES”–A much needed day off for the men as the women took on the demanding terrain and insanely difficult, rapidly disintegrating snow conditions at the Super G alpine event of these Paralympic Games. Chris Devlin-Young, who yesterday was in 2nd place only .2 seconds behind the leader in the Super G heading into the bottom of the course, reports that he injured his shoulder when he was hurled into the netting during the crash that he took after the Lake Jump. He reports that the immense team of doctors and physios on hand have been working on him through out the day to make it possible for him to race in tomorrow’s Super Combined. It’s up in the air as of now. Speaking of the medical team, I send my thanks to them for the amazing job they are doing patching up all of the injured athletes…and the body count keeps rising as the US continues its’ unfortunate “another day, another stay in the hospital” path for one of its’ most legendary athletes. Prayers and wishes to gold medal favorite Stephani Victor-Kuonen, who is resting in the Sochi Hospital tonight very banged up after a terrible crash, but with no major injuries or broken bones. Between the wrenched knees (Lujan), whiplash and Level 3 concussion (Walker) broken back (Kurka) broken leg (Tompkins) injured shoulder (CDY) and now Victor’s stay in the hospital, they are working around the clock to give such amazing care to the athletes. US favorite Alana Nicholls also fell prey to the snow conditions with a wicked fall that resulted in HER being airlifted off the course by helicopter as the women’s body count matched the men’s–with only 50% of the field (4 out of 8 total) female sit skiers completing the race, Laurie Stephens fought her way through and held on to get a bronze medal- and (perhaps even better at these Games) no trip to the hospital!

chris devlin young sochi

MAR 9 SOCHI UPDATE: This is Chris relaxing as they awaited the start of the Super G–there was a delay as they waited for the salt to chemically freeze the course. And I DO mean relaxing! Unfortunately, things did not go as smoothly on course and it was another rough day at the salt mines. The bumpy course took its’ toll again and this time Chris Devlin-Young was one of the victims. He was ejected out of the course and thus out of the running in the event he pretty much owned for many, many years. Ski racing is a heart-breaking pursuit but, in light of all of the injuries, we are blessed and thankful that the heart is the only thing that’s broken! Also very thankful that Tyler Walker has been released from the hospital and is back in the Village.

devlin chris

MAR 8 SOCHI UPDATE: Well, there is no joy in mudville today. The Men’s Sitting Downhill saw unprecedented carnage with quite a few of the field going out during training (2 US Paralympians had serious injuries–one broke his back–again–in 2 places and one had a severely broken leg) and a couple of racers bowing out. The final training was cancelled due to a SINKHOLE erupting on course due to rains. So when they started today there were only 21 racers willing and able to take on the massively rutted, bumpy and soft course. Of those 21, only 12 finished the course. Chris was one of them–barely–but he did not emerge unscathed. He was in the lead until a huge (very scary) almost fall cost him several seconds and then two more large mistakes later in the course (a result of getting off line from the near fall) finished him off–a disappointing 10th place–his worst in Paralympic history. He then waited at the bottom of the course to watch best friend Tyler Walker make his way down. Tyler had a spectacular run and a spectacular crash–a truly horrific somersaulting/cartwheeling fall– which started with him landing on his head and neck and then his ragdoll form cartwheeling a few more times until he slid to a limp stop. He was air lifted off course and is resting in a Sochi ICU with severe whiplash, numerous bruises and a Level 3 concussion. He spoke with his mother Carol within minutes of being in the ‘copter and was joking with her, and, after several MRI’s and CAT scans, the docs feel he is (miraculously!) without any long-lasting injuries. She reports that he’ll be in the hospital for about 5 days. Tyler sent me a text saying “I’ll live”. We pray that the weather and conditions will prove more favorable to the men’s sit skiers (who, because they can’t use their legs, are unable to absorb the “micro terrain”–all of the chattery bumps and little unexpected “air” on this course at 75 mph–and, therefore are at its’ mercy) as they head into the remaining speed events– Super G and later, the downhill for the Super Combined.

chris devlin young sochi2

About Jan Stearns

I've been living in and loving New Hampshire's White Mountains for most of my life. I moved to Waterville Valley in 1981 and quickly realized why it was dubbed a Yankee Shangri-la. Once you’ve experienced Waterville Valley, you’ll want to call it yours. The great team of Realtors at Waterville Valley Realty can help you find a Waterville Valley home that fits your lifestyle and budget.

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