The world’s best winter Para athletes will be heading to PyeongChang, South Korea, as the Paralympic Winter Games kick off exactly one month from today on 9 March. Check out the six athletes you must not miss in PyeongChang.
Amy Purdy, USA, snowboard
One of the most well-known Para athletes in the world will compete at her second Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang after winning bronze in snowboard-cross at Sochi 2014. Purdy, one of the biggest promoters of Para sports, is also a motivational speaker, having given a Tedx Talk in 2011. She also published a memoir entitled ‘On My Own Two Feet: From Losing My Legs To Learning The Dance Of Life,’ started a clothing line, participated in the popular US TV show ‘Dancing with the Stars’ and even performed a dance routine with a robotic arm at the Opening Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Paralympics.
Carina Edlinger, Austria, cross-country skiing
With her cheerfulness, youth, talent and charisma, she rapidly became a face of the sport. Edlinger enjoyed a superb international debut last season alongside her guide and brother Julian, taking two golds in the sprint and long distance, and bronze in the middle-distance at the World Championships in Finsterau, Germany. She also finished first in the overall World Cup standings. The 19-year-old extended her success into the new season, achieving six World Cup podium finishes, including one gold, one silver and four bronze.
Jung Segun-Hwan, South Korea, ice hockey
The 2018 Winter Paralympics’ hosts are hopeful of winning a medal in Para ice hockey following their historic bronze medal performance at the 2017 World Championships. The USA and Canada will be the strong candidates to take the first two places, but with South Korean star Jung Segun-Hwan anything seems possible. Considered one of the world’s best forwards, Jung was his team’s leading scorer at last year’s Worlds, even netting the winning goal against Norway in the bronze medal match.
Marie Bochet, France, alpine skiing
Had a brilliant start to the season, winning 11 of the 13 races she competed in and clearly leading the women’s standing overall World Cup rankings, which she last won in 2015-16. Bochet has been dominating the category since 2013. The Frenchwoman swept all five events at the 2013 and 2015 World Championships, and added three more world titles to her haul at Tarvisio 2017. She also claimed four golds at Sochi 2014. Considering Bochet’s recent performances, no one would bet against her winning five Paralympic titles in PyeongChang.
Oksana Masters, USA, Nordic skiing
Despite having achieved her most important wins in cross-country, Masters has also become competitive in biathlon, winning five of six World Cup races in the women’s sitting this season. She aims to win her first Winter Paralympic titles at PyeongChang 2018 after taking one silver and one bronze in cross-country at Sochi 2014. The 28-year-old, who was raised at an orphanage in Ukraine and adopted by a US woman, became popular after taking bronze in rowing at the London Paralympics, even making an appearance in ESPN’s The Body Issue.
Tyler McGregor, Canada, ice hockey
Showed why he is considered one of the world’s best players at the 2017 World Championships, leading the Canadian team to gold. In the final, they overcame arch-rivals USA 4-1 with an outstanding hat-trick from McGregor to tie as the tournament leader. He will again be fundamental in Canada’s aspirations at PyeongChang 2018, as they seek to leave behind the bittersweet bronze medal from Sochi 2014.
The Paralympic Winter Games take place in PyeongChang, South Korea from 9-18 March. Tickets can be purchased here.