Faces for PyeongChang 2018: Carina Edlinger

After a glittering performance at the 2017 World Championships, where she won two golds and one bronze, the Austrian Para Nordic skier targets success at the Winter Paralympics. 09 Mar 2017
Two cross-country skiers with an Austrian flag

Austria´s Carina Edlinger and her guide Julian after their victory at the 2017 World Para Nordic Skiing Championships.

ⒸHeinz Schaefer and Hans Kaulich.

“I failed many times on my way to the Worlds, but my results there proved that every effort was worth it.”

At only her third international competition, Austria’s Carina Edlinger proved to be a force to be reckoned with as she stormed to two golds and one bronze at February’s 2017 World Para Nordic Skiing Championships in Finsterau, Germany.

But the Austrian visually impaired skier, who competes alongside her brother and guide Julian Edlinger, was not feeling good at the start of the season, when she competed in two World Cups in Vuokatti, Finland, and Western Center, Ukraine.

“Before Finsterau I was far from my best form. In the two weeks in between Ukraine’s World Cup and the World Championships, I changed everything I thought I was not doing well. And it was the right thing to do,” she said.

In Finsterau, the 18-year-old shined in the women’s cross-country skiing visually impaired, winning the long distance and sprint races, and securing bronze in the middle distance.

“At the beginning I felt overwhelmed in Finsterau as it was my first World Championships, but it was an unbelievable experience. No words can describe what I experienced there. I always train to win medals but I definitely did not expect to claim two golds and one bronze.

“I failed many times on my way to the Worlds, but my results there proved that every effort was worth it.”

Edlinger will now compete at the third World Cup in PyeongChang, South Korea, from 10-15 March, a competition that will also serve as a Test Event for next year’s Paralympic Winter Games.

“I want to see the course and check everything which could be helpful for me ahead of PyeongChang 2018,” she said.

Competing at her first Paralympic Winter Games will be a dream come true for Edlinger, who knows needs to continue training hard if she wants to reach the podium.

“A friend of mine who is a big cross-country skiing fan called me and asked me to sign an autograph for her on a PyeongChang 2018 poster she has!,” she said.

“I did not even imagine competing at a Paralympic Winter Games some time ago. It will be more than a dream. I need to prepare myself well during the next summer in order to have great Games.

“My main goal, as always, will be to have fun and race fast.”

The PyeongChang 2018 Test Event will also act as a World Para Nordic Skiing World Cup between 10-15 March. The World Cup Finals then take place swiftly afterwards in Sapporo, Japan, from 18-22 March.

Live results from both competitions will be available at World Para Nordic Skiing’s website.

The PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games will take place between 9-18 March and will feature up to 670 athletes, a 24 per cent increase on the 539 athletes that competed at Sochi 2014.