Ones to Watch: Nordic Skiing

Athletes who'll be making the headlines heading into PyeongChang 2018 09 Oct 2017
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two male and two female Para Nordic skiers

(clockwise from top left) Arendz, Edlinger, Rad and Masters are four of the Nordic skiing Ones to Watch

By IPC

Ten athletes and two teenage talents have been named on the International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) Ones to Watch list for the upcoming Para Nordic skiing season, which will include the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games next March.

Selected by World Para Nordic Skiing, the Ones to Watch athletes are individuals who have the potential to make headlines, especially at PyeongChang 2018.

The list includes a mix of Nordic skiers who won Paralympic and World Championships medals, were prolific on the World Cup circuit, and are also strong spokespersons for the sport.

Ones to Watch for other winter sports, including Para ice hockey and wheelchair curling, will be announced in the coming weeks.

Full biographies of the Ones to Watch for Para Nordic skiing are now available.

2017/18 Ones to Watch

Anja Wicker, Germany

Spurred on by her home crowds, she excelled at her home World Championships in Finsterau in 2017, winning one gold and two silvers. She is hoping to outdo her performance from Sochi 2014, where she claimed one gold and one silver, at PyeongChang 2018.

Brian McKeever, Canada

Will compete at his fifth Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, where he seeks to win his eleventh Paralympic title. He is likely to do it, especially after reaching the top of the podium twice in cross-country at the 2017 World Championships.

Ihor Reptyukh, Ukraine

With over 1,000 points amassed during the 2016-17 World Cup, the Ukrainian claimed the overall men's cross-country standing title for the season. He also sealed two golds at Finsterau 2017.

Maksym Yarovyi, Ukraine

Enjoyed his most successful season so far in 2016-2017, winning four World titles and finishing at the top of the cross-country World Cup overall rankings. His compatriot Taras Rad and Germany’s Martin Fleig will be his two main opponents at PyeongChang 2018.

Mark Arendz, Canada

His most recent performances, including his two golds at the 2017 World Championships and his second place in the biathlon World Cup overall rankings, prove he will be tough-to-beat at next year’s Paralympic Winter Games.

Martin Fleig, Germany

The home crowd carried him to his first two World titles in Finsterau, Germany. Fleig also finished first in the 2016-2017 biathlon World Cup overall rankings. After such a good season, the German aims to extend his winning streak at PyeongChang 2018.

Oksana Masters, USA

Rounded off an outstanding performance at the World Championships in Finsterau, performing a clean sweep of the three cross-country events and winning the biathlon middle distance. After such a feat, few will bet against her ahead of PyeongChang 2018.

Oksana Shyshkova, Ukraine

2016-2017 was a breakthrough season for Oksana Shyshkova, who claimed her first world titles at Finsterau 2017 and also ended top of the biathlon World Cup overall rankings, as well as second in cross-country.

Oleksandra Kononova, Ukraine

Has dominated the standing category in both cross-country and biathlon for three years in a row, winning multiple World titles in 2015 and 2017, and will be the woman-to-beat at next year’s Paralympic Winter Games.

Zebastian Modin, Sweden

Performed an outstanding comeback last season after several injuries prevented him from competing on a regular-basis for two years. Modin won one gold and two silvers at the World Championships, and ended first in the cross-country World Cup overall rankings.

2017/18 Teenage Talents

Carina Edlinger, Austria

On her debut season, she won two golds at Finsterau 2017 and finished as the World Cup overall winner in cross-country. Guided by her brother and guide Julian, she seeks to reach the top of the podium at her maiden Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang.

Taras Rad, Ukraine

Claimed triple silver in the biathlon sprint, middle and long distance events at his first World Championships in Finsterau, Germany. He also finished second in the 2016-17 biathlon World Cup overall rankings.