The 2017 World Para Nordic Skiing Championships will be held in Finsterau, Germany, between 10-19 February.
Featuring around 135 athletes from 25 countries, the event is organised locally by sports club SV Finsterau.
It will be the last major competition ahead of the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games and is expected to attract some of the world’s best biathletes and cross-country skiers.
Finsterau sits 1000m above sea level in the municipality of Mauth in Freyung-Grafenau in the Bavarian Forest on the border with the Czech Republic.
The SV Finsterau has a race course homologated by FIS, as well as a roller ski and inline skating track, which makes it possible to carry out competitions even at low amounts of snow.
The altitude of the route is 1005-1050m above sea level. Sections of the course with different levels of difficulty are available. Since 2015, the SV Finsterau has a stationary biathlon facility.
History of the World Para Nordic Skiing Championships
2015 – Cable, USA
Over 150 athletes from 20 countries competed in the season after the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.
The hosts Andrew Soule put it an excellent performance, leaving his home Championships as the most decorated US skier in the history of the competition. He claimed five medals in cross-country and biathlon.
2013 – Solleftea, Sweden
In the last major international competition before the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, 156 athletes from 17 countries arrived in the Hallstaberget ski venue.
Russia were the dominant force of the Championships, winning a total of 56 medals, 22 of which were gold.
Roman Petushkov and Mikhalina Lysova finished as the king and queen of the Championships, having picked up five gold medals apiece in individual and team events for their country.
2011 - Khanty Mansiysk, Russia
More than 90 athletes from 14 countries took part in the first World Championships following the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games.
The Western Siberian conditions suited the home country who with 48 medals in total, including 20 golds, won twice as many medals as their nearest competitors.
This was partly due to the heroics of Mikhalina Lysova (four golds), Irek Zaripov (thee golds) and Nikolay Polukhin (three golds).
Lysova, the visually impaired 19-year-old Paralympic Champion won four gold and three silver medals at the Championships adding to the five medals she won in Vancouver.
Another highlight of the Championships was the duel between Canada’s Brian McKeever and Russia’s Nikolay Polukhin in the visually impaired events.
McKeever, with guide Erik Carleton, took gold ahead of Polukhin in three events - the middle distance cross-country freestyle, the long distance cross-country classic and the 1km sprint cross-country freestyle – whilst the Russian powered to gold in the 12.5km biathlon, leaving the Canadian with silver.
McKeever’s success was instrumental in securing Canada’s third place finish on the medal’s table, winning over half of the country’s medals. Ukraine claimed second place with a total of 23 medals partly due to Oleksandra Kononova who won four gold medals, two silver and a bronze medal during the week-long event.
2009 - Vuokatti, Finland
This was the third time that the Finnish ski resort held an IPC event, with the first two being World Cups in 2007 and 2008. The event featured over 100 athletes from 26 countries.
In both the men and women’s events, as with much of the World Championships, Russia and Ukraine held many of the top positions.
The athletes representing Russia held their ground in many competitions, taking over a total of eight places in the top three positions in cross-country alone on 29 January. The closest competitor to Russia was Belarus and Ukraine, each tallying up multiple top three positions.
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