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21941-Ilma Kazazic photo

Ilma Kazazic

Alpine Skiing

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Cerebral Palsy
Origin of Impairment
Congenital
Classification
LW3

Further personal information

Residence
Sarajevo, BIH
Occupation
Information Technology
Languages
Bosnian, English
Higher education
Information Technology - Dzemal Bijedic University: Mostar, BIH

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She took up skiing as a recreational activity at age four, and began Para alpine skiing in 2008 at Bjelasnica mountain in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Why this sport?
She was encouraged to try skiing by her father. She was introduced to Para alpine skiing by Bosnian Para alpine skier Senad Turkovic, who was a friend of her father. "My father is a great ski lover and he passed that love on to me. He wanted me to learn to ski and he succeeded. My love for the sport grew in me because of the influence of my first coach and my father."
Club / Team
SKOSI Ilmer: Sarajevo, BIH
Training Regime
In the northern hemisphere winter months she trains at Jahorina mountain and Bjelasnica mountain in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the summer months she trains in Austria and other locations in Europe.

International debut

Year
2014
Competing for
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Location
Rinn, AUT

General interest

Memorable sporting achievement
Competing at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, and finishing eighth in giant slalom at the 2019 World Championships in Slovenia and Italy. (Athlete, 13 Mar 2018; paralympic.org, 26 Jan 2019)
Most influential person in career
Her parents, and coach Senad Turkovic who passed away in 2016. "He is always in my mind when I'm skiing. When I race, every race is for him." (Athlete, 13 Mar 2018; paralympic.org, 26 Jan 2019)
Hero / Idol
Bosnian Para alpine skier Senad Turkovic, and her parents. (IPC, 10 Feb 2018; diskriminacija.ba, 15 Aug 2018)
Injuries
In November 2021 she broke her left shoulder after she hit a gate and fell during training in Austria. She returned to training after one month. (hayat.ba, 17 Feb 2022; scsport.ba, 14 Feb 2022; nap.ba, 14 Feb 2022; Facebook profile, 03 Dec 2021)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Every fall is one step further towards success. I don't let falls throw me out of my rhythm. No one has ever succeeded without experiencing ups and downs." (nezavisne.com, 31 Aug 2019)
Awards and honours
She and fellow alpine skier Jovica Goreta were flag bearers for Bosnia and Herzegovina at the opening ceremony of the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing. She had carried out the same role at the 2014 Games in Sochi and the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang. (IPC Entries, 04 Mar 2022; pyeongchang2018.com, 09 Mar 2018; paralympic.org, 07 Mar 2014)

She was named Female Athlete of the Year by the Sports Association for Athletes with an Impairment in Bosnia and Herzegovina for 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019. (paraplegicari.org, 21 Dec 2019; okbih.ba, 20 Dec 2018; IPC, 10 Feb 2018; sinovi-bosne.net, 22 Dec 2017; azramag.ba, 26 Jan 2017)

In 2016 she received the Nagrada Sarajevska Pahuljica [Sarajevo Snowflake Award] in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The honour is presented in recognition of exceptional achievements in the promotion and affirmation of general social values in curricular and extracurricular activities. (sarajevo.ba, 06 Apr 2016)
Milestones
She became the first female athlete to represent Bosnia and Herzegovina at the Paralympic Winter Games when she competed in alpine skiing at the 2014 Games in Sochi. (SportsDeskOnline, 16 Mar 2014)
Ambitions
To win a medal at the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing. She also plans to work in Para alpine skiing after retiring from competition. (klix.ba, 01 Dec 2018; Zmajevo lice YouTube channel, 14 Dec 2020; mreza-mira.net, 26 Oct 2018)
Impairment
She was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at age three. A nerve in her knee was also permanently damaged during her delivery at birth. (Zmajevo lice YouTube channel, 14 Dec 2020; diskriminacija.ba, 15 Aug 2018; Athlete, 08 Mar 2014)
Other information
COACH'S IMPACT
Her first coach Senad Turkovic, who passed away in 2016, had a major influence on her career. "He noticed my talent and he encouraged me to compete in skiing. He offered to train me and prepare for competitions with the Paralympic Games as a main goal. After a few years the hard work and all the effort brought some good results. Every race I have had and every race I will have are done in memory of my coach Senad Turkovic, who is no longer with us, but will always be in my heart giving me the strength and motivation to do my best." (hayat.ba, 17 Feb 2022; Zmajevo lice YouTube channel, 14 Dec 2020; IPC, 10 Feb 2018; klix.ba, 15 Jul 2016)

DEALING WITH HER IMPAIRMENT
Her parents have been influential in helping her to deal with her impairment. "Thanks to open communication with my parents I always considered myself as just another child, with no impairment. They taught me not to feel less valuable and to have no complexes. I do not like the word 'disabled' because it means incapable. I cannot say that it was hard to struggle with my impairment. It is part of me. I am used to this and accept it, so I don't consider my impairment as a life struggle." (Zmajevo lice YouTube channel, 14 Dec 2020; furaj.ba, 01 Dec 2017)

OCCUPATION
She works as a software developer at a computer software company based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. (LinkedIn profile, 21 Feb 2022; Mistral Facebook page, 16 Feb 2022)

Results

Unit Date Rank
Paralympic Winter Games 2014 (Sochi, Russia)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's Slalom Standing Final Round 2014-03-12 9999
Women's Giant Slalom Standing Final Round 2014-03-16 9999
2015 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships Panorama (Panorama, Canada)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's Slalom Standing Race 1 2015-03-10 9999
2017 IPC Alpine skiing World Championships Tarvisio, ITA (Tarvisio, Italy)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's Giant Slalom Standing Race 1 2017-01-30 9999
Women's Slalom Standing Race 1 2017-01-31 11
Pyeongchang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games (Pyeongchang, South Korea)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's Giant Slalom Standing Final 2018-03-14 15
Women's Slalom Standing Final 2018-03-18 12
Kranjska Gora/Sella Nevea 2019 World Para Alpine Skiing Championships (Kranjska Gora/Sella Nevea, Slovenia)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's Giant Slalom Standing Race 1 2019-01-22 8
Women's Slalom Standing Race 1 2019-01-24 9999