Some injuries prevented Zebastian Modin from competing on a regular basis over the last two seasons, but the Swede came back in spectacular way in 2016/2017, finishing top of the cross-country World Cup overall rankings and winning one gold at the World Championships.
Together with guide Johannes Andersson, the 23-year-old finished first in the men’s cross-country sprint visually impaired in Finsterau, Germany.
“One year ago, I was thinking of throwing the skis into the fire, of retiring because of so many injuries I suffered. And now being a world champion is amazing,” said Modin.
“I was very happy with the day. I felt good from the start until the end. The sprint was my main goal that week, so was I very glad to be able to do it that well.” He followed that up with two silvers in the long distance and the mixed relay.
“Last season I also won the World Cup title, which was really unexpected. After two seasons where I hardly raced at all and was struggling with injuries and problems finding guides, my goal last season was to come back racing again,” he said.
“I also wanted to get some good results and really achieved that last winter. That makes me more confident during the preparations into next season, but it has also made me set up more precise goals for the upcoming winter.”
Those goals are firmly focused towards the Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, in March 2018. He has already competed at Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014, which gives him more experience than most 23-year-olds.
“A Paralympic Games is so much bigger than anything else in Para sport, so hopefully the two Games I have participated in have given me some experience. My goal there is to bring a medal back home. I know it will be harder than ever, and that motivates me,” he said.
Modin already knows how it is to run on the Paralympic track after taking part in the PyeongChang 2018 Test Event, last March.
“The conditions varied a lot from day to day, superfast some days and very soft other days, so I am trying to prepare myself and my mind for those changes,” he said.
The Paralympic Winter Games will take place in PyeongChang from 9-18 March 2018.