PyeongChang 2018: Kampschreur kicking on after early stumbles

Dutch teenage alpine skier getting back to form ahead of Winter Paralympics 25 Jan 2018 By Louise Wood | For the IPC

After becoming a triple gold medallist at his first ever World Championships last season, Dutch skier Jeroen Kampschruer is looking to repeat that success in his maiden Winter Paralympic Games.

With PyoengChang 2018 just around the corner, the 18-year-old has his sights set on glory.

"I will try to get a gold medal at the Paralympics. You’ve got to go there with your mind focused on winning. Only then, will you ski as fast as you can," he explained. "But if I ski an amazing run and it gets me a silver or bronze medal, I would still be satisfied."

It will be the biggest event that Kampschruer has ever raced at and he is looking forward to the occasion.

"I am very, very excited! It’s a dream come true. Of course I’m a bit nervous too, and that’s okay I think, because I’m also always a little nervous for a normal World Cup."

As reigning world champion in the men´s slalom, giant slalom and super combined sitting, there are big expectations on his young shoulders.

"When I think back to last season, after so many great races and wins, I get more confidence of course. But in Korea I will focus on my skiing and just do the best I can. There will be pressure, but last season I also dealt with a lot of pressure and kind of got used to it. I’m not the underdog anymore."

Preparation for the Paralympics hasn't been ideal for the alpine skiers as a number of races have been cancelled due to bad weather.

"It’s a pity that so many races were cancelled, this makes it harder for everyone to prepare for the Games. However training is going well and I put down some fast runs. In all the technical races I have only got podiums or DNFs so when it goes well, it goes really well!"

After a series of disappointing races on the World Cup this season, where he didn't finish many of the races, Kampschruer recently regained some form in Veysonnaz, Switzerland. He was third in both the slalom and the giant slalom.

He will be looking to add to those podiums at the World Cup Finals in Kimberley, Canada.

"This season has been full of ups and downs. I had some bad luck with my equipment and couldn’t find trust in my skiing at the start of the World Cup season. Eventually I got my self-confidence back and grabbed some medals!"

The Paralympic Winter Games take place in PyeongChang, South Korea from 9-18 March. Tickets can be purchased here.