Congratulations to Gold Medialist Paralympic Alaskan Native Andrew Kurka

We congratulate Andrew Kurka for winning a gold medal in the sit-ski downhill race in the 2018 Winter Paralympics!  A dream come true!

From the age of eight, Alaskan Andrew Kurka dreamed of being the best in the world. Even at that young age, he was recognized as a gifted athlete and excelled at wrestling. When his coach told him to remember that there would always be somebody better, young Kurka just strengthened his own resolve, determined to move to the top and be the best. His plans were sidelined at the age of 13 when a four-wheeling accident broke his back and left him paralyzed. His physical therapist, recognizing Kurka’s athleticism and competitive spirit, suggested he try a Paralympic sport. Andrew chose skiing. He understood that he could compete at a Paralympics and be a competitive athlete, he decided to dedicate himself to his dream of Alpine skiing as a true Olympian!

Although he has had setbacks like most athletes, including three broken bones from flying down a mountain at up to 70 miles an hour, he is poised to medal at the 2018 Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang. He qualified for the Paralympic team in 2014 in Sochi, but crashed during a training run right before the event and re-injured his back. Unable to compete during at the 2014 Paralympic Games, he kept his dream alive and is ready mentally and physically to give the 2018 Games his best effort! He is currently ranked the number one seated skier in the world. 

Kurka has trained extensively for this opportunity and hopes that by competing in an independent sport vs. a team sport that he will be able to reap the benefits of his hard work and training regimen. He is glad to be competing as an Alaskan because he expected to bring a medal—a first for any Paralympian from Alaska. Congratulations Andrew on this amazing accomplishment!

Just like Andrew, something is thrown your way and you need to adapt, just like the people who have come to NTI.  Something happened in life that caused a disability, but they make a comeback. If you would like to make a comeback and use NTI's services to get your next job, visit NTI at


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