Paralympic Winter Games
12 - 21 March

De Troyer Plans Retirement After Sestriere

10 Jan 2011

Belgian Alpine Skier Natasha De Troyer has announced she is planning to retire after competing in this month’s 2011 International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Alpine Skiing World Championships in Sestriere, Italy.

The two-time Paralympian, who was the only athlete representing her country at the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games and competed in all five Alpine Skiing events, hopes to go out on a high before bowing out of Paralympic Winter Sport.

Speaking to www.paralympic.org, the IPC’s website, De Troyer said she expects a number of other athletes to also end their careers after Sestriere.

Natasha De Troyer said: “For many athletes, the World Championships in Sestriere are the last big competition after the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games.

“I want to finish my skiing career in Sestriere too.

“My target is to get the best result possible and end with a good feeling.”

The Belgian skier, who competed at the last two Paralympic Winter Games, will be among 130 athletes from 27 countries at the World Championships and hopes to leave Sestriere with a more positive feeling than she did after the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games.

Natasha De Troyer said: “Because I had a knee injury just four months before the Vancouver Games, I had a bad experience in competition.

“It still had been my target however to have a good result in Vancouver despite the lack of training and competing.

“For Sestriere, I have been resting, reading, doing fitness, getting massages and analyzing racing videos to help me prepare.”

With a number of skiers planning to retire after Sestriere, De Troyer has advised any newcomers to Alpine Skiing to seek support from either relevant educational institutions or work establishments in order to maximise their potential.

Natasha De Troyer said: “The support from those places can do a lot, and it is vital to have a strong structure in order to get into big competitions.

“It’s also important to have enough motivation and time for training and events.

“If you are not from a country that has Alpine Skiing possibilities, it’s not always easy to find the budget and the accommodations.”

As the only Belgian skier competing at the top level De Troyer has had to depend on other countries and their choices in training. And with just days to go until the start of the Championships has admitted she is still undecided on what events she will compete in.

Natasha De Troyer said: “Normally it’s the Giant Slalom, but a lot is depending on my feeling and the training days that I will have right before competition.”

The 2011 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships which take place from 15-23 January will be the biggest gathering of Paralympic Winter Sport since the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games. The schedule includes Downhill, Giant Slalom, Slalom, Super-G, Super Combined and Team events.

Competition will take place in the same Alpine Skiing venue which was used during the Torino 2006 Paralympic Winter Games.