Brittani Coury will bring a medal home to Durango from the 2018 Winter Paralympic Games.
Coury, who lives and trains in Durango, captured the silver medal in banked slalom in the lower limb two category Friday at the Jeongseon Alpine Centre in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Bibian Mentel-Spee of the Netherlands won gold with a time of 56.94 seconds. Coury posted a time of 59.87 in her final run to move into second place ahead of Netherlands’ Lisa Bunschoten, who was third in 1:00.04.
“It was incredible, I just let it go full,” Coury said of her silver-winning run in the finals. “I just wanted to be down at the bottom as fast as I could, and it actually paid off.
“I felt good coming down, but it’s so hard in my category because these girls are fast. Bibian Mentel-Spee has won triple golds now. I just tried to race as fast as I could. I wasn’t really thinking about where I was in order, I was just proud of my riding, that I stood it up and was fast.”
Mentel-Spee won gold in snowboard cross in 2014 and 2018 to go with her banked slalom gold Friday.
It is Coury’s first medal of the Paralympics. She competed in snowboard cross earlier this week but missed out on the finals and a chance for the podium with a crash in qualifying.
Similar to her first run in snowboard cross, Coury, 31, fell in her first run Friday, but she shook off the spill.
“I was thinking about speed-checking and then I thought, ‘No way, just hold on to it till the finish line,” she said of her first run. “And I did and I ended up with a bit of road rash.”
Coury, originally from Aztec, suffered a broken ankle after a snowboarding crash when she was 17. After nine surgeries to attempt to repair the broken bone and several years of living in pain, Coury had her leg amputated below her right knee in 2011. She began snowboarding competitively in December 2016 and earned a spot on Team USA in the summer of 2017 before she qualified for the 2018 Paralympics.