Paralympic Winter Games
04 - 13 March

Day 5: Paralympic Winter Games preview

Qualification finals to decide Para Ice Hockey semi-finals Para Cross-Country set to wow with the sprints Penultimate day of round-robin play in wheelchair curling 08 Mar 2022
male Para Nordic skier Cristian Ribera
Brazil's Cristian Ribera carries the hope of a nation on his shoulders.
ⒸGetty Images
By Lucy Dominy I For The IPC

It is just over halfway through the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games yet day five could deliver yet more history on the snow and ice.

Para Cross-Country Skiing

From the calculated endurance racing of the long distance events, the pace will shift in Para Cross-Country Skiing on Wednesday to the frenzy of the sprints.

Skiers who have already picked up medals will have to adjust their style and go all-out in an attempt to add to their hauls.

It is a big day for Brazil as they pin their hopes of a historic Paralympic medal on Cristian Ribera in the men’s sitting. Just a few months ago the Brazilian won his country’s first ever World Championships medal in Lillehammer, Norway, with silver in the sprint. Now the man who barely gets to train on snow will go for their first Paralympic podium.

Cristian Ribera will hope to cross the finish line in first in what would be an historic victory. Ⓒ Bob Martin for OIS/IOC


The speed of the event also continues to suit the likes of the USA’s Oksana Masters, who added to her Paralympic gold from PyeongChang 2018 with the women’s sitting world title in January. Masters could face a challenge from Chinese rising star Yang Hongqiuon who shook the field in the long distance on Sunday, taking the crown.

Canada’s Brian McKeever also reached success in the event in South Korea despite preferring the longer distance racing. If he manages to win it will be his 15th career gold to follow on from the long distance in the men's vision impaired.

In the women's vision impaired, Oksana Shyshkova has represented Ukraine twice on the top of the podium in both cross-country and biathlon at Beijing 2022 with guide Andriy Marchenko. But German skiers Linn Kazmaier, guided by Florian Baumann, and Leonie Maria Walter with guide Pirmin Strecker, have been hot on her heels.

Oksana Shyshkova has been in exceptional form. Ⓒ Michael Steele/Getty Images


Norway’s Vilde Nilsen grabbed two golds during her home Worlds in January in the women’s standing, one of which was in the sprint. Her aim for Beijing 2022 is to improve on her silver from four years ago. 

Canada's Natalia Wilkie enters the same race on a high from her victory in the long distance. 

The podium in the men's standing was an all-Asian affair earlier in the competition, led by Japan's Taiki Kawayoke. He will be aiming to double-up on his maiden Paralympic gold as China's Cai Jiayun and Qiu Mingyang try to contribute once again to their country's lead in the cross-country medals table.

Para Ice Hockey

With defending champions the USA and 2018 silver medallists Canada safely through to the semi-finals, four other teams will fight for a place in the next round on Wednesday.

South Korea will play Italy in a repeat of the bronze medal game from four years ago. The South Koreans emerged the victors then with a slender one goal win. Italy have the slightly better record so far in this competition with one victory under their belts. 

China have made a stunning Paralympic debut in Group B, proving they are not just making up the numbers. They have won all their games and conceded only two goals.

China's 38-year-old forward Jing Yu made her Paralympic debut in China's 6-0 win over Italy on Tuesday, becoming the first women to play for her country at this level. ⒸSteph Chambers/Getty Images


Their opponents are Czech Republic, a side determined to secure their first Paralympic medal. When the two teams met in their group game, the Chinese emerged the victors with a 5-2 scoreline. That was the Czech's only loss of Beijing 2022 so far.

Wheelchair Curling

Wheelchair curling enters its penultimate day of round-robin play on Wednesday and all eyes are on current rankings leaders Sweden.

Of the six games they have played so far, Sweden have only lost one. That includes wins over defending champions China and three-time gold medallists Canada. 

Sweden's only loss came against Latvia, who themselves are enjoying a great run of form and sit in joint fourth. Ⓒ Getty Images


Sweden play Norway and Slovakia on Wednesday, two other teams jostling for position in the top four.

Hosts China are also set to face Slovakia with the two teams currently sharing second place on four wins and two losses.

Canada round off the six teams sharing the top four position and will play Great Britain and Estonia.