Bunschoten focused on PyeongChang podium

After winning a bronze medal at the 2015 IPC Snowboard World Championships, the Dutch hopeful is doing everything she can to medal at the next Winter Paralympics. 25 Jul 2015
Woman on a snowboard

Lisa Bunschoten of the Netherlands is targeting gold at PyeongChang 2018.

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By Giuseppe Di Florio | for the IPC

Dutch para-snowboarder Lisa Bunschoten is already targeting a podium finish at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games, after winning a bronze medal at the 2015 World Championships.

The 19-year-old finished in seventh place at Sochi 2014, on the debut of the sport at a Paralympic Games. However less than one year later, Bunschoten was standing on the podium at the 2015 IPC Snowboard World Championships in La Molina, Spain, having finished third in the women’s snowboard-cross SB-LL2. She also narrowly missed out on a medal in banked slalom.

After a great end to the season, Bunschoten is now looking ahead to PyeongChang 2018 where she hopes finish in the top three. “That’s my goal” she said.

Bunschoten was born with fibular aplasia, a condition that caused her left leg to grow shorter than her right. Aged 16, she decided to have surgery to try lengthening her leg but as the operation was not successful, she had her left foot amputated.

The Dutchwoman then took up sports thanks to her brother Jasper.

“He always wanted to go to the mountains, but I was not able to ski. So he said to me: ‘why don’t you try to snowboard?’ So I tried and I fell in love with the sport”, she said.

Bunschoten was then taken under the wing of her now teammate Bibian Mentel-Spee, the Paralympic and double world champion. Mentel-Spee mentors Bunschoten and some of the other youngsters on the national team, and has helped to make the Dutch squad one of the most formidable in para-snowboarding.

Bunschoten also credits her improvement to a professional training regime, which she plans to continue over the summer.

“I lived in the USA for 4 months [before La Molina 2015] and that resulted in good progress,” she said. “I hope that I can progress more and more during the next years.”

The summer months will see Bunschoten spend her time at the Papendal national training centre in the Netherlands, where she will train two times a day. In addition, in August she will train on glaciers for a week so as not to lose touch with the snow and to start focusing on the upcoming season.

“After the summer I’m going to start at a new school to study psychology,” Bunschoten said. “Hopefully that will work beside snowboarding, my main focus point. My plan for the upcoming season is to train a lot, make progress and show the best of myself at competitions time. I will train a lot on snow, but I will train at the gym as well, in order to get stronger and perform better on the slopes”.

The 2015-16 IPC Snowboard calendar will be announced shortly.