Krasnaya Polyana, Russia • Ogden’s Keith Gabel became part of the first U.S. men’s podium sweep in Paralympic Winter Games history, earning a bronze medal in the inaugural snowboardcross event Friday.
Park City skier Danelle Umstead also collected a bronze medal, in the super-combined event’s visually impaired class.
Gabel, a 2002 graduate of Ben Lomond High School, followed U.S. teammates Evan Strong and Mike Shea at the top of the 33-man field. The snowboarders competed in one class — standing, with lower limb impairment — and counted their two best times in three individual runs at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Center.
Gabel’s combined time was 2 minutes, 42.09 seconds, as he finished 2 seconds ahead of fourth-place Carl Murphy of New Zealand.
In the women’s event, U. S. rider Amy Purdy won a bronze medal as Cristina Albert of Holladay finished a distant fourth. Viewmont High School graduate Nicole Roundy, a pioneer as the first above-the-knee amputee to compete in snowboarding, placed eighth. Salt Lake City’s Megan Harmon, who works in rocket engineering for ATK, finished 10th.
Umstead’s third career bronze medal in Alpine skiing came after the super-G portion of the super-combined event was postponed until Friday. Skiing with her husband, Rob, as her guide, Umstead needed only to complete the icy course to earn a medal. The other three contestants in the visually impaired class failed to finish the slalom segment in difficult conditions Tuesday.
She succeeded, and will try for another medal Sunday in the regular slalom event as the Paralympics conclude.