Beijing 2022 Paralympics: Andrew Kurka looks to defend alpine skiing gold

There is an excellent chance that, in Beijing, one of the best skiers in the world will use the moments before some of the biggest races of his career to crack a joke.

Andrew Kurka does this by design. Sometimes he chats about the course with the folks working at the start. What he says doesn’t really matter as much as how he says it. He keeps it light, and though he is talking to others, he is really speaking to himself.

“My career has been so serious for so long,” says Kurka, 30. “When I started getting better is when I started staying calm. It’s a big confidence booster to stay relaxed.”


Success in adrenaline sports can hinge, in large part, on managing fear. Kurka has a different challenge. He has to manage fearlessness.

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