"I am aiming to stand on the podium in biathlon and to complete the competition without any regrets.”
After leaving Sochi 2014 without a medal, Momoko Dekijima is hoping for a better outcome at PyeongChang 2018. After a strong 2016-17 season, the Japanese skier believes she is now in a position to achieve her Paralympic dream.
“Last season was the best for me. My performances went up bit by bit, despite a lack of technique,” said Dekijima, who ended fifth in the biathlon World Cup overall rankings.
“I know my technique and my muscle strength are not enough, but what I have to do is to concentrate on my training.”
Her best race came at the World Championships in Finsterau, Germany, in February, winning a silver medal in the women’s biathlon individual standing. “It was very good for me to be able to stand on the podium,” she said.
“I want to produce my best performance in skiing and shooting at the Paralympic Games. I am aiming to stand on the podium in biathlon and to complete the competition without any regrets.”
With the Summer Games coming to her native Japan in 2020, she explained the positive impact this could have on the profile of the Winter Games.
“I feel that public interest in the Paralympics has increased since the decision to hold the Summer Games in Tokyo in 2020,” she said.
“Many Para sports are now being shown in Japan, whereas at Salt Lake City 2002, only the results were broadcasted. Rio 2016 was shown on TV and it feels like there has been a dramatic change in the Paralympic Movement in Japan.”
The Paralympic Winter Games will take place in PyeongChang, South Korea, from 9-18 March 2018.