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Wednesday, April 24, 2024


Local Sports Hero Eyes Third Gold Medal


By Joe Hart

COURT HOUSE — The Summer Olympic Games in Beijing may be over, but one local sports hero is already thinking about the alpine events at 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, B.C.
Two-time Paralympic gold medal skier Kevin Bramble wants to three-peat the downhill event that he won at the 2002 Salt Lake City games and in the 2006 Paralympics in Turin, Italy.
The Paralympic Games, held every four years following the Olympics, are a multi-sport event for athletes with disabilities.
Bramble, an avid extreme sportsman and all-around thrill seeker his entire life, became paralyzed in a 1994 snowboarding accident near Lake Tahoe. After the accident, Bramble didn’t abandon his adrenaline-pumping pursuits. Instead, he taught himself to sit ski and eventually made the U.S. Disabled Ski Team.
Bramble, 35, is one of the most decorated athletes in the skiing universe winning numerous world and U.S. championships over the past 10 years.
Also a noted extreme skier, Bramble was featured in the 2006 Warren Miller ski movie “Off the Grid” in which he skied virgin backcountry powder in Alaska.
When he isn’t winning medals, Bramble and his fiancée Leslie live and work in Court House where he designs and builds Kevin Bramble Goodz (KBG) adaptive sports equipment not only for himself, but also for many of his colleagues on the U.S. ski team.
Tyler Walker, one of Bramble’s teammates, credited his KBG equipment with a win at the 2007 Huntsman Cup. He said when riding Bramble’s design, “it’s like I’m one with the mono-ski.”
Bramble most recently competed in March at Soldier Mountain, Idaho where he won the downhill event in the 2008 Hartford Disabled Alpine Championships. Before that he finished fourth in the Winter X Games mono ski cross finals in Aspen, Colo.
But, now is the time for Bramble to start tuning up for a run at 2010 gold.
“Every year before the Paralympics, they have the world events at the same venue. It’s like as a test run for Paralympics and qualifier for the games,” Bramble told the Herald. “I have to start training and earning qualifying points for Vancouver.”
Bramble, who’s always supremely confident, said he’s feeling great and is sure that, with some good training, he’ll again compete for top honors at the 2010 Paralympic Games.
The Harbor Pub on 96th Street in Stone Harbor is hosting a benefit on Aug. 31 to help send Bramble for training in Colorado and to Paralympic qualifying events. During the upcoming qualifying year, Bramble will incur major expenses for travel, equipment and competition fees.
Tickets for the benefit will be available at the door for $15 or can be purchased ahead of time by contacting Bramble at (530) 320-9851.
Proceeds from t-shirt sales and 50/50 chances will also benefit Bramble’s Paralympic training.
“It’s going to be a great time with drink specials and three local bands,” said Bill Daniels, of the Harbor Pub. “Let’s help send Kevin to Vancouver to bring us home another gold medal.”
Contact Hart at (609) 886-8600 Ext 35 or at:

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