Canada’s double Paralympic medallist from Sochi 2014, Mark Arendz, is ready for the season ahead where he will get the chance to focus on his World Championships goals.
Having missed out on medals last time out at Cable 2015, he is determined to make amends at next year’s World Para Nordic Skiing Championships in Finsterau, Germany, from 10-19 February.
“For me, the big one is the World Championships. I’m preparing at the moment and want to be at my best in Finsterau. The biathlon is my priority and then the relay and classic races,” said Arendz.
While he is looking to improve on Cable, Arendz is not putting added pressure on himself with a medal target in Germany.
Arendz continued: “I want to be consistent and give my best races. I’ll create a plan before each race and aim to execute it to the best of my ability. I can only focus on what I can control – if I have a perfect day it could mean a win or simply third or fourth.”
There are several opportunities to lay down a marker before Finsterau, with IPC Nordic Skiing World Cups in Vuokatti, Finland and Western Center, Ukraine.
“Finland gets the year going – you can see where everyone is at. I’m very familiar with the course and know the trails, so it’s like a home away from home for me – and that’s very exciting,” added Arendz.
While the focus is on the season ahead, the Canadian will take advantage of the opportunity to try out the course for the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games at the World Cup Finals in March.
“The Test Event will be a great chance to see what the course is like. It will be my second trip there. But I’m not getting ahead of myself. The Games are a lot about the four years that goes into getting there, as well as executing the performance on the day. Though naturally, I’d love to make my medals from Sochi a couple of steps higher.”
The 2017 World Para Nordic Skiing Championships will gather the 135 of the world’s best biathletes and cross-country skiers from 25 countries. They will be followed by the PyeonchChang 2018 Test Event from 10-15 March.