France’s Arthur Bauchet was one of the stand-out performers at the recent World Para Alpine Skiing Championships in Tarvisio, Italy, leaving with two titles from the men’s standing in his debut season.
Now the 16-year-old is heading full speed into his first Paralympic Winter Games at PyeongChang 2018, which get underway in exactly one year’s time on 9 March.
Before he arrived in Tarvisio, Bauchet had reached the podium at the World Cup level. He went on the claim golds in the slalom and giant slalom at the Worlds and could barely believe his performance.
“Yes to win the gold at the World Championships was a dream more than it felt like reality,” Bauchet said. “Between winning World Cup competitions and winning the World Championships, it's totally different!
“I am young and I still want to progress in order to continue the good results.”
The fresh-faced youngster will also compete at the PyeongChang 2018 Test Event, which will also act as the World Cup Finals, from 12 March. He currently sits fifth in the slalom rankings.
“I am really looking forward to going to PyeongChang for the Test Event! My goals are to keep the same momentum as in Tarvisio for technical events and speed events, and to do the best I can, but for this I will have to produce my best level of skiing,” he said.
Bauchet also paid tribute to the support of a close-knit French team. On winning his first world title in the giant slalom, multiple Paralympic and world champion Marie Bochet was waiting for him at the finish line. The pair embraced, representing the special relationship between the current and next generation of top-level French skiers.
“Marie played a special role as did the entire French team,” Bauchet said. “I am new to the circuit and they help me and made me discover the world of competition in the best way. I thank them all, be it Marie, Jordan [Broisin], Yo, [Yohann Taberlet] Fred [Frederic Francois], and all the staff.”
As for whether his aims for the next 12 months have changed now that he is a double world champion, Bauchet was very clear.
“No my objective was established before that: to go as far as possible, I remain in this state of mind!”
The World Cup Finals and PyeongChang 2018 Test Event will begin with downhill on 12 March and includes a full programme of technical and speed events.
Live results will be available at World Para Alpine Skiing’s website.