Hall’s stirring words – and Blues awards winners

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New Zealand disabled alpine skier Adam Hall has urged Wakatipu High students to never give up on their dreams.

Dunedin-born Hall, who won gold in the standing slalom at the 2010 Winter Paralympic Games, was guest speaker at the school’s annual blues awards last Friday.

He recalls winning a sporting blues award and sportsperson of the year title at Taieri High was the highlight of his school days. “I wasn’t the best academic so I wasn’t ever going to go for dux.”

Hall admits it was “a bit of a shock” that he failed to medal at this year’s Paralympics in Sochi, Russia.

In the Super-G, he says he was leading by two-tenths of a second when he crashed at about 110kmh, some six turns from the bottom.

He was ill for the slalom, where he finished only seventh, while his best result was a fourth in the super combined, failing to podium by only two-tenths of a second.

Hall says he might have retired if he’d medalled but is now even more determined to compete at the 2018 Paralympics, and even in the next Games in 2022.

Meanwhile, in the blues awards, netballer Monique Lynes and ice hockey player Callum Burns won the sportswoman and sportsman of the year titles.

Rowing crew Jacob Flanagan and Dylan O’Connor, who won two Maadi Cup gold medals, picked up the sports team and sports performance of the year awards.

Victoria Boult, Ashley Burney, Rosie Glover, Sophie Lake, Isadora Lao, Sophie Ray, Tatjana Reid, Nikau Stuart-Tipene and Vanessa Woodward won ‘outstanding achievement’ awards for making the final of the NZ Theatre Federation one-act play festival.

– Philip Chandler