"I know I can be very fast next year but I have to learn to show this in races"
Germany’s Anna Schaffelhuber won all but two events from the 2017 World Championships.
Silver in the super-G, she has come to terms with. Silver in the technically challenging giant slalom race, she felt she could have done better — way better.
“I was much slower in the first run [of the giant slalom] and did not attack like I normally does and have to do,” Schaffelhuber said. “The whole season except in Tarvisio I showed by quality in giant slalom. So I am not happy with that race. It’s a big motivation for next year.”
The 2017-18 season – which culminates to the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games – is her last chance to prove that. Two-hundred days from now would be the start of the conclusion of one of Germany’s most successful alpine skiers.
“After PyeongChang, I will be finished,” Schaffelhuber said.
At 24 years old, Schaffelhuber already owns five gold medals from Sochi 2014, where she was undefeated, and six titles over three World Championships.
“Next season I want to show my best in each single race,” Schaffelhuber said. “That’s for the overall season and for the races in PyeongChang. I know I can be very fast next year but I have to learn to show this in races. So there is going to be all or nothing for next season.”
She has no regrets from her silver-medal performance in the super-G from the Worlds in Tarvisio, Italy, saying her toughest competitor Austria’s Claudia Loesch deserved the gold. But the German knows what she has to work on in the giant slalom, as well as other disciplines.
“In a couple of races and runs [from last season] I realised some things to improve and that’s perfect because it’s a new challenge for myself,” Schaffelhuber said. “I really have to improve myself in slalom on steep courses and on flat courses in the rest of the disciplines. But I still have some ideas for that.”
Travelling for appearances, trying new sports, cramming in her studies – a hectic offseason is normal for Schaffelhuber. And while she looks forward to returning to the slopes, she also has plans for life after, hoping to become a teacher in math, law and economics.
“The last couple of years the summer months were almost as busy as the winter season because of many meetings, media events, training and university exams. So in summer every day is anything else,” said Schaffelhuber. “I’ve tried some new things like paddling or tennis – it’s a lot of fun! But of course that was just for fun and I am looking forward to be back on snow.”
The Paralympic Winter Games will take place in PyeongChang from 9-18 March 2018.