“I feel like I having been skiing for a long time, but maybe time flied while I was having fun,”
Anna Jochemsen delighted her country in 2015 by winning the Netherlands’ only medal at the World Championships, and aims to continue moving through the field with two years to go until the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.
The 30-year-old, born in Swaziland, collected a bronze medal in the women’s super combined standing, as well placing fourth in the downhill and sixth in the super-G. That was her best ever set of results at the World Championships and came after Jochemsen narrowly missed out on the podium at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games just 12 months before.
“I was very happy, very proud,” Jochemsen said. “In Sochi, I just was half way away from a medal place before I fell in the second run. Although the Paralympic Games are different from any other race, I wanted to make up for my fail in the World Champs so I am really happy this worked out.”
Coming from one of the flattest countries in the world, Jochemsen’s training regime involves a lot of travel throughout the season.
“I train together with the entire national team, which now consists of nine athletes,” she said. “Our ski training takes place in the Alps. Before and during the season we go there for training. During the summer, we do an almost full-time training programme at the National Sport Centre in Papendal. This is mainly strength, conditioning, balance and other specific training.”
This season, Jochemsen has consistently made it onto the World Cup podium. Her best results have come in the downhill, where she finished on the podium three times to claim second in the overall standings for the season.
Jochemsen sees a lot of potential in her future career, which began when she first tried skiing at the age of seven.
“I feel like I having been skiing for a long time, but maybe time flied while I was having fun,” she said. “I’ve not been skiing my whole life, I’m a late bloomer so I am still building, I still feel I can do better. I want to hold this upward trend. This will come with strength training and optimising equipment, but most important: a lot of ski training.”
The PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games will feature 670 athletes competing in five sports. Alpine skiing will be hosted at the Jeongseon Alpine Centre.