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INTERNATIONAL PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE
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a female Para skier

Claudia Loesch

Alpine Skiing
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Much was expected from Claudia Loesch at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games after she dominated the World Cup season from start to end to claim the overall, slalom and giant slalom women´s sitting titles.

But surprisingly she ended the Games with only one silver in the super-G and bronze in the giant slalom. Despite that, this last performance will in no way overshadow a long and successful career on the slopes.

The Austrian alpine skier has won two golds, four silvers and three bronze over four Winter Paralympics.

She enjoyed a successful return from injury in the 2016-17 season, winning two world titles in giant slalom and super-G, defeating long-time rival Anna Schaffelhuber.

Loesch has bad memories of Sochi 2014, with Schaffelhuber sweeping the board with five golds to leave her without a Paralympic title.

However, the Innsbruck native was able to get revenge at the 2015 World Championships, leaving with three titles in Panorama, Canada, after an intense competition. That included a much coveted first gold medal in downhill, a victory which she cites as one of the most important in her career alongside her first world title in 2013.

Loesch finished second in the 2014-15 World Cup standings behind Schaffelhuber.

Loesch, who became paraplegic after a car accident at age five, was originally inspired to take up skiing in 1996 after she saw Paralympic athletes cruising down the slopes on television.

She graduated from the 2006 IPC Alpine Skiing development camp along with fellow Austrian and Paralympic champion Markus Salcher.

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Spinal Cord Injuries
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
LW11

Further personal information

Residence
Innsbruck, AUT
Occupation
Public Servant, Student
Languages
English, French, German, Italian, Spanish
Higher education
Political Science - University of Innsbruck: Austria

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She began skiing at age three. She took up Para alpine skiing in 1998 in Kaunertal, Austria.
Why this sport?
She was inspired to try Para skiing after watching a race on television in 1996. "I love being outside and a sunny day on a perfectly prepared slope is the best feeling in the world."
Name of coach
Eric Digruber [national], AUT; Chris Ebenbichler [fitness]

International debut

Year
2001/02
Competing for
Austria

General interest

Hobbies
Watching tennis, playing the flute, taking part in quizzes and trivia competitions, politics. (Facebook page, 03 Sep 2017; paralympic.org, 03 Jan 2016)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning two gold medals at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver. (pyeongchang2018.com, 09 Mar 2018)
Hero / Idol
Swiss tennis player Roger Federer, US tennis player Andre Agassi. (IPC, 10 Feb 2018)
Injuries
She missed most of the 2015/16 season due to a broken femur in her left leg. She sustained the injury in a car accident in December 2015. (IPC, 10 Feb 2018; perfecthealth.at, 01 May 2017)

She broke her nose when slalom skiing in 2013. (IPC, 10 Feb 2018)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Smile, never lose the courage and continue fighting." (perfecthealth.at, 01 May 2017)
Awards and honours
She was named flag bearer for Austria at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. (pyeongchang2018.com, 09 Mar 2018)

She was named the Female Para Athlete of the Year at the 2014 Night of Sports Gala in Vienna, Austria. (paralympic.org, 31 Oct 2014)

She was received the Para Athlete of the Year award at the 2014 Lower Austria Sports Gala. (noe.orf.at, 23 Oct 2014)

She was named the 2013 Sportswoman of the Year by the Austrian Paralympic Committee [OBSV]. (derstandard.at, 23 Nov 2013)
Ambitions
To win gold in downhill at the 2018 Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang. (IPC, 10 Feb 2018; tips.at, 09 Mar 2017)
Impairment
She has paraplegia as the result of a car accident she was involved in at age five. (IPC, 10 Feb 2018; xn--gesnderleben-flb.at, 01 Mar 2010)
Other information
QUIZ MASTER
She enjoys taking part in quizzes, and has taken part in international competitions. "I do it for fun because it takes my mind off skiing when times are tough. For the moment it's just a hobby. [There is] a lot of studying. I have to do a lot Wikipedia reading." (pyeongchang2018.com, 11 Mar 2018)

Results

Unit Date Rank
Torino 2006 Paralympic Winter Games (Torino, Italy)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's Downhill Sitting Final Round 3
Women's Slalom Sitting Final Round 6
Women's Giant Slalom Sitting Final Round 5
Women's Super-G Sitting Final Round 7
Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games (Vancouver, Canada)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's Slalom Sitting Final Round 1
Women's Giant Slalom Sitting Final Round 8
Women's Super Combined Sitting Final Round 2
Women's Super-G Sitting Final Round 1
Women's Downhill Sitting Final Round 3
IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships (Kangwonland, South Korea)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's Slalom Sitting Final 2009-02-20 4
Women's Giant Slalom Sitting Final 2009-02-21 2
Women's Super-G Sitting Final 2009-02-23 5
Women's Super-Combined Sitting Final 2009-02-23 2
Women's Super-G Sitting Run 2 2009-02-24 5
2011 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships (Sestriere, Italy)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's Downhill Sitting Final 2011-01-16 3
Women's Super-G Sitting Final 2011-01-18 3
Women's Super-Combined Sitting Final 2011-01-19 2
Women's Slalom Sitting Final 2011-01-20 2
Women's Giant Slalom Sitting Final 2011-01-21 2
Mixed Team Event VI/Sitting/Standing Final 2011-01-23 6
IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships (La Molina, Spain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's Downhill Sitting Race 1 2013-02-20 4
Women's Super-G Sitting Race 1 2013-02-21 1
Women's Slalom Sitting Race 1 2013-02-24 9999
Women's Super-Combined Sitting Race 1 2013-02-25 1
Women's Giant Slalom Sitting Race 1 2013-02-26 1
Paralympic Winter Games 2014 (Sochi, Russia)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's Downhill Sitting Final Round 2014-03-08 9999
Women's Super-G Sitting Final Round 2014-03-10 2
Women's Slalom Sitting Final Round 2014-03-12 5
Women's Super Combined Sitting Final Round 2014-03-14 9999
Women's Giant Slalom Sitting Final Round 2014-03-16 2
2015 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships Panorama (Panorama, Canada)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's Downhill Sitting Race 1 2015-03-04 1
Women's Super-G Sitting Race 1 2015-03-05 9999
Women's Super-Combined Sitting Race 1 2015-03-07 1
Women's Giant Slalom Sitting Race 1 2015-03-08 2
Women's Slalom Sitting Race 1 2015-03-10 1
2017 IPC Alpine skiing World Championships Tarvisio, ITA (Tarvisio, Italy)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's Downhill Sitting Race 1 2017-01-25 2
Women's Super-G Sitting Race 1 2017-01-26 1
Women's Super-Combined Sitting Race 1 2017-01-28 2
Women's Giant Slalom Sitting Race 1 2017-01-30 1
Women's Slalom Sitting Race 1 2017-01-31 3
Pyeongchang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games (Pyeongchang, South Korea)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's Downhill Sitting Final 2018-03-10 9999
Women's Super-G Sitting Final 2018-03-11 2
Women's Super Combined Sitting Final 2018-03-13 9999
Women's Giant Slalom Sitting Final 2018-03-14 3
Women's Slalom Sitting Final 2018-03-18 9999