The official presentation of the French 2016-17 snow sports teams that will contest medals at three World Championships took place on Friday (28 October) in Chambery.
Christian Fémy, Director of Snow Sports for the team, unveiled the names of thirteen athletes who will wear the tricolor in Para alpine skiing, Para Nordic and Para snowboard in the year before the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.
"This year, all athletes have their eyes turned towards the World Championships that start early, in late January,” Femy said. “The World Cup in South Korea, a Test Event for PyeongChang 2018, will then be an opportunity to test their skills but also from the perspective of logistics.
“Finally, we are already beginning to prepare the 2022 generation with our group that bring a dozen young people under 20 years. We have good momentum."
In alpine skiing, France will be led by quadruple Paralympic champion Marie Bochet, who will defend five women’s standing titles at the World Para Alpine Skiing Championships in Tarvisio, Italy, from 22 to 31 January.
"This team is great and our disciplines continue to gain notoriety,” Bochet said. “If we all aim to compete at the [Paralympic] Games, the World Championships are a major deadline."
Injured last Monday in training in Tignes where she hurt her knee, Bochet hopes to be back on the slopes after a few weeks rest.
"The good feelings were there and I intend to find them upon my return on the slopes,” she said. “I now have time to take care of myself and immerse myself in my classes [at the Paris Institute of Political Science].”
In cross-country and biathlon, the blues will have a strong group of athletes for the 2017 World Para Nordic Championships in Finsterau, Germany, from 11-19 February.
Benjamin Daviet, a five-time medallist at the last World Championships and winner of 11 World Cup podiums in 2016, headlines the team’s efforts.
In snowboard Cecile Hernandez-Cervellon, winner of the overall women’s SB-LL1 crystal globe in the last two seasons, will be joined by Maxime Montaggioni who will compete in the men’s SB-UL. Both look forward to the World Para Snowboard Championships in Big White, Canada, from 1-8 February.
“In this pre-Games year, the goal is to give everything during each training, to perform well at the World Champs and to feel confident with the material adjustment.” said Hernandez-Cervellon.
The World Cup season gets underway for snowboard on 17-18 November in Landgraaf, the Netherlands.
An alpine skiing Europa Cup will also take place in Landgraaf at the same time, before the first World Cup in Kuhtai, Austria, on 15-17 December.
Nordic skiers will begin their World Cup season in Vuokatti, Finland, on 9-16 December.
2016-17 Para alpine skiing team
2016-17 Para snowboard team
2016-17 Para Nordic skiing team
Thomas Clarion, guide Antoine Bollet
Anthony Chalençon, guide Simon Valverde