Carina Edlinger

Carina Edlinger

Nordic Skiing

Carina Edlinger has high expectations for her second World Championships in Prince George, Canada. The Austrian vision impaired skier has recently sealed four cross-country wins over two 2018-19 World Cups.

She was a bit disappointed after her performance at her maiden Winter Paralympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.

Prior to the Games, Edlinger had confirmed her status as a clear candidate for gold after finishing as the overall cross-country World Cup winner for a second successive year.

But she struggled with the pressure and had to settle for bronze in the women´s cross-country middle distance vision impaired at PyeongChang 2018. She will most certainly have many more opportunities to win a Paralympic gold.

Edlinger’s debut season in 2016-17 was stunning.

The Austrian claimed gold in the women’s cross-country sprint and long distance vision impaired events at the World Championships in Finsterau, Germany. She also added a bronze to her haul in the cross-country middle distance.

Edlinger finished as the overall winner of the cross-country World Cup after capturing four wins and six other podium-finishes.

Edlinger’s sight in both eyes decreased due to a rare genetic disease.


Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Vision impairment
Origin of Impairment
Lorenz Lampl

Further personal information

Salzburg, AUT
Customs Officer, Journalist
English, German, Italian

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She began cross-country skiing at age 10.
Why this sport?
She was a national youth champion in the sport in Austria before her vision began to deteriorate. "I love the winter, skiing, and spending time with my friends outdoors."
Club / Team
USV Fuschl am See: Austria

International debut

Competing for
European Championships
Hochfilzen, AUT

General interest

Cari (Athlete, 02 Mar 2022)
Spending time with her dog, going on holiday, videography. (Athlete, 02 Mar 2022)
Memorable sporting achievement
Being congratulated by Norwegian Nordic skier Lars Berger after her first World Cup victory. (Athlete, 02 Mar 2022)
Most influential person in career
Her family, especially her brother Julian. (Athlete, 09 Feb 2018)
Hero / Idol
Norwegian cross-country skier Petter Northug. (Athlete, 02 Mar 2022)
In January 2021 she fractured her patella [kneecap] in a crash. (, 02 Mar 2021)
Superstitions / Rituals / Beliefs
She cuddles her dog before and after a race. (Athlete, 02 Mar 2022)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Always be honest with yourself." (Athlete, 02 Mar 2022)
Awards and honours
She was named the 2021 Female Para Athlete of the Year at Austria's Athlete of the Year awards. (, 19 Oct 2021)

She was voted the 2019 Female Para Athlete of the Year by members of the Sports Media Austria. (, 31 Oct 2019)

In 2018 she received the Golden Sport Award for Impaired Sport from the Austrian Ski Federation. (, 23 Jun 2018)

She received the Goldenen Lowen [Golden Lion] for Rookie of the Year at the 2017 Leonidas Sports Gala in Salzburg, Austria. (, 16 Nov 2017)
Other sports
She has represented Austria in Para biathlon. (SportsDeskOnline, 25 Nov 2020)
Famous relatives
Her older brother Julian has competed in cross-country skiing at national level in Austria, and previously served as her guide. (Athlete, 02 Mar 2022;, 31 Jan 2020;, 16 Nov 2017)
To compete at the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing. (, 01 Sep 2018)
Her vision began deteriorating in 2010 because of Stargardt disease. (, 08 Mar 2017;, 15 Feb 2017)
Other information
Her guide dog Riley accompanied her to the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing. "For me, the most important thing coming to China was to bring my dog. If my dog would not have been able to enter China, I would directly fly home. So it wasn't the easiest task for the [International] Paralympic Committee with me. My dog is a guide dog. I see between 1.5% and 2% so I am probably the most low-vision athlete who is competing here [Beijing 2022], so it's kind of tricky but he helped me – not only to find my ways but also emotionally over the past couple of days. Even when you have a bad day your dog still comes to you and wants to have a cuddle. So he is more than gold. He's always there. If he's not there it's a bad day for me. As long as I have him [it's good]. He's my biggest fan in life. No one can cheer or shout so much for me. My dog needs to be there." (OIS, 09 Mar 2022)

Having previously competed as a B1 athlete, she took part in the B2 events at the 2021 World Championships in Lillehammer, Norway. Her classification changed after her eyesight improved. "I was in a new situation today [in Lillehammer], because for the first time in six years I started without a guide." (, 13 Jan 2022; Instagram profile, 08 Jan 2022)

She has studied journalism and has written articles for the International Paralympic Committee [IPC] website. "Many athletes, even here [at the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing], come up to me and say, 'How are you doing? You have a normal conversation about life and all that stuff. For me, that was a thing to think about, how can I make a job around that because I love to talk with people and hear interesting stories. I'm interested in any sport. And it's not just sports. It's more the talking or communicating with people to hear their story because pretty much everyone has an interesting story." But she says it has been a challenge to find experience as a reporter. "When you say, 'I want to work as a journalist', they can't even imagine it. They're not even giving you a chance. In my mind, everything is possible. As long as there is a will, you will always find a way. Of course, it's a bit more tricky, but if I have some support it's possible." (OIS, 02 Mar 2022;, 17 Nov 2021)


Unit Date Rank
2017 IPC Nordic skiing World Championships Finsterau, GER (Finsterau, Germany)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's Sprint - Free Style VI Final 2017-02-12 1
Women's Long Distance - Classic VI Final 2017-02-16 1
Women's Middle Distance - Free Style VI Final 2017-02-19 3
Pyeongchang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games (Pyeongchang, South Korea)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 15km Free Visual Impaired Final 2018-03-12 4
Women's 1.5km Sprint Classic Visual Impaired Final 2018-03-14 4
Women's 7.5km Classic Visual Impaired Final 2018-03-17 3
Prince George 2019 World Para Nordic Skiing Championships (Prince George, Canada)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's Middle Distance - Free Style VI Final 2019-02-17 2
Women's Sprint - Free Style VI Final 2019-02-18 1
Women's Sprint VI Final 2019-02-20 9999
Women's Long Distance - Classic VI Final 2019-02-24 1