PLANO, TX – As part of Toyota ongoing commitment to Paralympic Movementthe company relies on its we stroke arm – Toyota Racing Development USA (TRD United States) – to provide engineering and technology expertise to develop the first-ever Toyota Sit-Ski, a monoski available for we Paralympic alpine skiing.
Seven-time Paralympic medalist Laurie Stephens and two-time Paralympic medalist Andrew Kurka are both United States team alpine skiers who will compete in the Toyota Sit-Ski at the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games.
“In a quest to revolutionize mobility around the world and inspire the next generation of Paralympic athletes, we have partnered with a group of stars to Toyota Racing Development USA for this special project,” said Lisa MaterazzoGroup Vice President, Toyota Marketing, Toyota Motor North America. “There is no better global event than the Paralympic Games for Toyota to reinforce our passionate belief that everyone has the right to freedom of movement in an inclusive society and we look forward to seeing the athletes compete in the first-ever Toyota Sit-Ski.
To celebrate the platform’s debut on the world’s biggest stage, Toyota offers sports and racing enthusiasts an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the development of the Toyota Sit-Ski project. The new multi-episode video series, created in partnership with Media.Monks, a global creative and production partner of Toyota in United Statescan be viewed at ToyotaSitSki.com.
“It’s an exciting collaboration that Toyota, TRD United States and we The Paralympic Alpine Skiing Games have been taking place for a few years now,” said David WilsonGroup Vice-Chairman and Chairman, Toyota Racing Development USA. “It will be an incredible moment when we see the Toyota Sit-Ski roll down the hill for the first time in Paralympic competition given the heart and soul of the team that has invested in this project.”
By applying the lessons learned from their success on the circuit, TRD United States dedicated a diverse team of engineers and technicians to design a sit-ski from the bottom up. Development of the project is underway, with testing beginning in the winter of late 2019. Five-time Paralympian Chris Devlin-Young has lent his expertise to both TRD United States and we Paralympics Alpine Skiing by testing sit-skiing to provide feedback along the way. Areas of focus for the project include the suspension system, seat position/adjustment, and mechanical modifications based on para-alpine skiing disciplines.
Building on his success at PyeongChang 2018, Kurka is looking to defend his gold medal in the downhill and beat his silver medal in the super-G.Stephens hopes to beat her bronze medal in the downhill and reach the podium in the super combined and super-G.
“I have a lot of pressure, especially going to Beijing, not only to win, but also to represent my country and prepare for the future,” said Kurka, who is also a Toyota team athlete. “I’m a very particular sit-skier because my life is on the line when I’m out there and I want to make sure that not only am I safe, but I’m fast. Win, lose or draw, the Toyota Sit-Ski is a great monoski.’
Two-time Paralympic medalist and Toyota World Team athlete Andrew Kurka is one of two United States team alpine skiers ready to compete in the Toyota Sit-Ski at the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games.
Test and real world Cup the Toyota Sit-Ski competition has taken the rig around the world: Winter Park, Colorado; Saas Fee and St. Moritz, Switzerland; Mount Hood, Oregon; Panorama, Canada; Lillehammer, Norway; and are, Sweden.
“It was fantastic to have Toyota and TRD United States in this partnership,” said Tony McAllisterpara-alpine high performance associate director, United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee. “Athletes are going to use technology and how it feels under them is the most important thing. Toyota really allows our athletes to be at their best and they have so much fun skiing in the Toyota Sit-Ski.
Toyota and the Paralympic Movement
Toyota has been an active supporter of Paralympic athletes and adaptive sports. In 2015, the company became the official global mobility partner of the Olympic and Paralympic Committees for the period 2017-2024. Besides, Toyota is a proud partner of United States team and several National Paralympic Governing Bodies (NGBs) and National Paralympic Teams, including: National Wheelchair Basketball Association; we Paralympic alpine skiing; we Paralympic cycling; we Paralympic Nordic Skiing; we Paralympic snowboarding; we Paralympic swimming; we Paralympic athletics; United States curling and United States the national wheelchair curling team; United States Hockey and the we the national luge team; and United States Triathlon and the Toyota U.S. National Paratriathlon Team. Toyota also has a long-standing relationship with Adapted action sports (AAS) and Challenged Athletes Foundation (CIF). Besides, Toyota presented two we Paralympians in Big Game commercials (Amy Purdy – 2015, Jessica Long – 2021).
Last year, Toyota launched a one-of-a-kind program offering up to $5 million in support and sponsorship opportunities to all eligible we Paralympic athletes in an effort to further support The United States team Paralympic athletes as they pursue their sporting dreams. Coming from the Toyota US Paralympic Fund is a one-time allowance that has a direct impact on the lives of eligible people we Paralympic athletes aiming to compete at the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games and those who competed at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. To date, more than 430 U.S. Paralympic athletes and hopefuls have received direct support from more than $4.9 million raised for the Toyota US Paralympic Fund. Toyota also provides sponsorship opportunities for athletes nominated to the we the Paralympic team for both Tokyo and Beijing Games.
Toyota (NYSE:TM) is part of the cultural fabric of North America for more than 60 years, and is committed to advancing next-generation sustainable mobility through our Toyota and Lexus, as well as our more than 1,800 dealers.
Toyota directly employs more than 48,000 people in North America who have helped design, engineer and assemble nearly 43 million cars and trucks at our 13 manufacturing plants. By 2025, Toyota 14th factory in North Carolina will start manufacturing automotive batteries for electrified vehicles. With more electrified vehicles on the road than any other automaker, more than a quarter of the company’s North American sales in 2021 were electrified.
Thanks to the Start Your Impossible campaign, Toyota highlights how it partners with community, civic, academic and government organizations to address our society’s most pressing mobility challenges. We believe that when people are free to move, anything is possible. For more information on Toyotavisit www.ToyotaNewsroom.com.