Heart-stopping Gold

Wanaka-based Adam Hall, 22, paralympian gold medallist alpine skier, never had any special treatment says his father dairy farmer Lindsay Hall upon Adam’s win in Vancouver at the 2010 Winter Games. “He never got treated any different,” Hall senior says. When there are things to be done [around the farm] he’ll do them.” Born with spina bifida, Hall endured several operations as an infant to correct “all the screwed up nerves” in his back. While many spina bifida sufferers wind up in wheelchairs, Hall can walk, although it’s a herky-jerky, knees together, feet wide kind of walk. “I ski a lot better, obviously, than I walk,” he says. Hall won the men’s standing slalom in heart-stopping fashion, four years after failing to even finish at Turin. With a lead of 2.13 seconds after the first run, Hall was in good position to earn his first Paralympic medal. But two-thirds of the way into a solid second run, he tumbled onto his side just after making a gate. Using his outrigger-equipped poles and a strong upper body, he pushed himself to his feet. “I didn’t have time to panic,” he says. He later stood up and saluted the crowd with his outrigger raised.


Tags: Adam Hall  Lindsay Hall  Paralympics  skiing  Vancouver  Vancouver Sun (The)  Wanaka  Winter Games (2010)  

You Can’t Stop Sonny Bill Williams From Shining

You Can’t Stop Sonny Bill Williams From Shining

A star in rugby union and league, and now a professional boxer, Auckland-born Bill Williams, 36, reveals his inner torments and tells The Guardian’s Donald McRae what drives him on. “I get pretty emotional…