The organisers of the first speed races of the 2015-16 IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup are busy putting the finishing touches to their preparations to host the competition in Tignes, France, between 25-29 January.
Around 50 of the world’s best skiers from 14 countries are expected to descend on the resort for downhill and super-G races for the fourth World Cup of the season
The event, organised for the third consecutive year in Tignes, promises to be one of the highlights of the winter, in the absence of World Championships and Paralympic Games.
Christian Femy, Director of Sport for competition organisers French Handisport, is also busy preparing his team for their best performances.
"For our athletes, it is necessary in particular to race at home on a ground where they train regularly. In addition to that, the speed tests, rapid and dramatic, are always extra special."
The French team are keen to win on home soil. The Savoyard Marie Bochet, quadruple Paralympic champion, will undoubtedly be the one to watch in the women’s standing.
In the men’s sitting Frederic Francois from Isere, super-G World Championships medallist, has the potential to get to the top step the podium, as does Upper Savoy Yohann Taberlet.
"For us, the Russians, Germans and Austrians will be monitored closely, as will the Japanese sit skiers," added Femy.
As well as the World Cup races, a Rhones-Alpes Village will be open to all throughout the week of the competition. Fans can try sit-skiing, visually impaired football or shooting with a laser gun, similar to the technology used in visually impaired biathlon.
In partnership with the Rhone-Alpes region, 250 students will be welcomed to watch the races on Wednesday (27 January).
Before the World Cup in Tignes, skiers will compete in Tarvisio, Italy, between 18-19 January and St. Moritz, Switzerland, from 22-23 January, in slalom and giant slalom.