Loesch dreaming of downhill gold at Panorama 2015

Austrian sit-skier is the defending champion in super-combined, giant slalom and super-G but wants the speed title to complete her collection. 03 Mar 2015
Claudia Loesch of Austria

Claudia Loesch of Austria competes in the Women's Slalom at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games

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“I love downhill so much and at so many big events I messed it up, like Sochi, La Molina, Vancouver and I could have won all of them but I didn’t."

Austria’s triple reigning world champion Claudia Loesch has spoken of her ‘emotional’ desire to bag the downhill world title at the 2015 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships in Panorama, Canada, as one of the only gold medal missing from her collection.

Speaking after the first downhill training session, ahead of the start of the races on Wednesday (4 March), Loesch said: “The most important thing is winning the downhill. That’s what I’ve been dreaming of for years and that’s the thing I want to achieve this week.”

After being disappointed with her performance at every major event in recent years, despite winning bronze at Vancouver 2010, Loesch is fully focused on the top of the women’s sit-ski podium.

“Downhill skiers are the real skiers!” Loesch joked. “I love downhill so much and at so many big events I messed it up, like Sochi, La Molina [2013 Worlds], Vancouver and I could have won all of them but I didn’t. This one is the last one missing in my collection because I’ve already won in each of the others at a major competition, so downhill is the last cornerstone of my career to be perfect.”

The super-combined, giant slalom and super-G world champion felt good after her training run on Monday (2 March) where she finished second behind German downhill Paralympic champion Anna Schaffelhuber.

“It was fun. I didn’t quite do the turns that I wanted but in general, it was good,” she said.

Loesch has also had significant success in technical events in 2014-15, finishing on the podium multiple times in World and Europa Cups. Now she just needs to carry that momentum through onto the speed slopes of Panorama 2015.

“So far it was pretty ok, it wasn’t perfect. Still I had some good results so I’m pretty positive going into the World Champs even though I had a pretty bad crash two days ago,” she said.

Just last week whilst training in Kimberley, Canada, Loesch crashed, hitting a fence. Fortunately the 25-year-old was only bruised, and is as determined as ever to pursue her downhill dream with an eye on the other four races.

“I mean all other competitions matter as well, I’m into all five and definitely can medal in each one of them but the downhill is the most emotional for me,” she said.

Race at the 2015 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships start on Wednesday and conclude on 10 March, featuring over 100 of the world’s best skiers from 23 countries.

All race and results will be streamed live at Panorama2015.com. Viewers in the US can watch at US Paralympics website and in Canada live on CBCSports.ca.

The competition schedule is also available at Panorama2015.com and live updates and behind the scenes coverage will be available at IPC Alpine Skiing’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.