Paralympics: No offseason for this two sport star

The following is an excerpt from an article posted at

For Allison Jones there is no such thing as an off season. For the two sport athlete her year is divided in two. April through September could be called the season of cycling, while October through March is, indeed, ski season.

Jones is never left waiting for a major competition to prepare for. Less than two years ago she won a silver medal in the individual time trial at the Beijing Parlaympic Games, her fourth Paralympic medal, to go along with two silvers from Salt Lake City and one gold from Torino. Now she is back in the Parlaympic Winter Games, this time on the mountains of Whistler. She took fifth in the slalom, her first event, but still has four more chances to add to her Paralympic medal collection.

Jones will be only 26 years old in May, but is competing in her fifth Paralympic Games, making it a Paralympic competition every other year since she was 17.

Skiing was Jones’ first love. She began skiing when she was five after she moved with her family from Texas to Colorado. When she was eight she began racing, and when she was 16 she moved to Winter Park, Colorado to finish high school so she could train full time at the National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD).

It was also around that time that Jones began cycling. In 1998 Jones took a trip to Colorado Springs to watch what she assumed was a local cycling race for athletes with physical disabilities. The race was in fact the 1998 Para-cycling World Championships. After watching the athleticism of the cyclists Jones knew, “I want to do that.”

Two years later, Jones was a two-sport athlete, spending her summers on a bike and winters on the snow. In 2002 she raced in her first World Championships for cycling as well as skied in her first Paralympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City. Jones won two silver medals in the super G and giant slalom.

Jones feels like the two sports compliment each other nicely.

“They help in the early season of both,” she said during a phone interview. “To go from cycling to skiing I bring a lot of stamina to the early season when you need a lot of time on the hill, a lot of hours. I have all the endurance, so I can train all day. From skiing to cycling I bring the strength in. I can do great in the sprints right off the bat.”

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