Tyler talks about how he first got involved in adaptive ski programs, what he loves about skiing, and how being involved in Paralympic sport has given him so many opportunities.
I’m on my way back from Arctic Man! That was the most crazy ski race I have ever done. It was a lot of downhill straight line skiing, but being towed at 70+ mph behind a snowmobile halfway through made it particularly exciting. Alaska was amazing and the crew up there made it happen. Thanks to driver, Paul Thacker. — video by Andrew Kurka.
I was just training in Valle Nevado, Chile for a few weeks where we did a lot of work on technique for giant slalom and Super-g. The snow was great, with a few days of ice, bullet proof snow. The food, on the other hand, was rather lacking in flavor, variety, and definition that would suggest it was something other than roast dog. The water also smelled of diesel fuel and functioned as quite an efficient laxative. Complaining aside, we were in Chile, which is seriously awesome. The mountains are of such immensity, it is difficult to grasp the scale of things. The people were super friendly, too. We got to celebrate Chilean Independence Day at the ski area, and they put on a crazy party. With all that said, I made a video of one of my training runs, and not of the food or water.
I just came back from a shock testing camp at Mt. Hood, Oregon. During that time I experimented with my Go Pro camera to capture what my suspension was doing while I was skiing. I mounted the camera under my seat, aimed it at my suspension, and this is what I came up with.
Today we flew from Denver to Vancouver, Canada, then took a bus up to Whistler where all the Alpine events are being held. The travel experience was not too exciting.
This evening we got to the Whistler Athlete Village which is about 10 minutes down the road from the ski area. The village is really well built and resembles a small college campus. Every country has their own floor in one of the numerous residence halls and their are many lounges and public areas where you can find cafes, game rooms, workout facilities, entertainment plazas, movie theaters and even a multi-faith center if you need to get your meditation or bible study on. The dining hall is a massive permanent tent with tons of food options. It even has a full service McDonalds and McCafe if you feel like you want to “eat like an olympian.” If you don’t get that reference and think its rediculous, check out McDonald’s recent add campaign where they have olympic athletes eating at McDonalds, giving the impression that their food somehow enhances one’s performance.
I just got back from Winter X-Games 14 in Aspen, Colorado. My event, Monoskier-X, is basically skier cross, but everyone uses monoskis and we go four at once, first one to the bottom wins. This year our course had quite a bit of modification to allow monoskiers to actually finish the course and make all the jumps successfully. We often have problems with normal skier cross courses because we are not able to generate enough speed to clear the bigger jumps. This year we had our own features in key spots to enable us to have a smooth run. The jump at the bottom of the course was really big and had us going at least 60 feet, about 10 feet off the ground, more than enough time to recite one’s ABCs before landing. There was a great deal of carnage this year as well. Every heat had several people fall, sometimes into each other, making it very entertaining. You will find a lot of that in my last heat, the final, where I had to react very quickly to avoid flailing bodies.
The video above was taken of the jumbotron. Below is ESPN’s summary video.
It was a really fun event and I want to thank my support crew, consisting of my parents, my cousin Ernie, and my Aunt Liz for making all of this happen.
I just finished up a series of world cup races in Sestriere, Italy, on the same mountain as the 2006 Paralympics. I had two downhills, two super-Gs, and one super combined. The track was almost exactly the same as when we raced on it in the past and the snow was almost perfect, man-made and really fast. We stayed in this hotel called The Belvedere which is supposed to be about four stars, but made sure that most of us were in two star rooms. My room, in particular, had all the humidity from our entire floor funnel into the room, which caused the window and surrounding ceiling to drip with water. After a bit of airing out it was slightly bearable. Below is a clip of my first downhill race. I ended up not skiing the next day. See if you can figure out why.
I ended up breaking my shoulder straps, popping out of my monoski like a cork. I also bent by best downhill ski. I did eventually recover, but I was seriously sore the next day. At he end of these series of races I managed to scrape together a fourth place finish in the final super-G, even after I just about fell half way down, so not too shabby.
A cool ridgeline in Sestriere that I really wish I had a chance to ski.
Before we flew home we spent the night near Munich, Germany. Having some free time on our hands, a bunch of us went in to the city to check things out. The above picture was just one of those things we checked out. Oh the boots!
The next Warren Miller film titled “Dynasty” premiers in the months of October, November and December all across the country. One of the features of this year’s film is a segment on the Monoskier-X event at the latest Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado. Check it out and you might see me flying off of some huge jumps. You can get more information about the film including viewing locations at www.skinet.com/warrenmiller.
Tyler Walker is a member of the U.S. Adaptive Ski Team and the 2014 U.S. Paralympic Alpine Skiing Team. He won three 2013-14 World Cup globes: Overall, as well as for Speed and Slalom events. He is a national and international sit-ski champion in several alpine disciplines as well as a 2006 and 2010 Paralympian and a three-time X-Games gold medalist.
Tyler graduated in 2008 from the University of New Hampshire with a dual major in geography and international affairs, with minors in political science and German. He currently lives and trains in Franconia, New Hampshire.