Strong wins snowboarding gold medal at Paralympics

Former Maui resident Evan Strong won the inaugural Winter Paralympics men’s snowboardcross gold medal Friday in Sochi, Russia.

The 27-year-old Strong, who lived on Maui from age 7 to 20 and now resides in Nevada, had a total time of 1 minute, 43.61 seconds

Each competitor took three runs on the Rosa Khutor Alpine Center course, with the two fastest times used for a total. Strong had a 51.62 in his second run – best of all competitors in any of the three heats – and a 51.99 in his third, after opening with a 52.55.

Strong, who had his left leg amputated in 2004, after a traffic crash in Haiku, led an American sweep of the podium – Michael Shea took the silver in 1:44.18, and Keith Gabel (1:47.10) claimed bronze.