“Winning a gold medal is very inspiring. Being on top of the podium…You want to feel that because it is unbelievable. All the pain and hard training pays off. It means you are the best in the world, it is great."
“My goal for the Games is very clear: I want to win another title.”
Germany’s Andrea Rothfuss has no doubt over her aims heading into the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.
The 28-year-old alpine skier will contest her fourth Paralympics in South Korea and is hungry for more success after claiming her first gold at Sochi 2014.
The German’s big rival in the women’s standing category will be four-time Sochi 2014 champion Marie Bochet, who has so far enjoyed a highly-successful start to the season by winning her first six World Cup races.
Four years ago, the Frenchwoman won the downhill, super-G, giant slalom and super-combined, while Rothfuss was the fastest in the slalom in Sochi.
“We will see what happens in PyeongChang because every race is special and you cannot say what will happen,” added Rothfuss. “You have to give your best, show what you can do and fight until the finish line.”
Although she is training hard to reach her best form before the Games get underway, two-time world champion Rothfuss knows that the weather conditions will also play a major role in how the competition develops.
“Alpine skiing is an outdoor sport, which means you need to know how to handle difficult weather conditions,” she explained.
“We have many people who want to help us such as our coach and families; they also give their best like us athletes so that we can perform the best we can. But sometimes unfortunately it does not work.”
Rothfuss has witnessed first-hand the evolution the Winter Paralympics have enjoyed over the years. She made her debut at Torino 2006, winning one silver. She followed that up with another silver and two bronze at Vancouver 2010, before claiming her first gold and a further two silvers at Sochi 2014.
“In Torino I fulfilled the dream I had from when I was a kid. Since then, I think the whole sport has become much more professional.
“Compared to Torino, in the lead-up to PyeongChang we can see more interested media and the general public pays more attention to us. You even meet people who know your name! Ten years ago, you could not even imagine that. It feels great.”
With the 2018 Winter Paralympics now less than two months away, Rothfuss already imagines what would be like to reach the podium once again.
“Winning a gold medal is very inspiring. Being on top of the podium…You want to feel that because it is unbelievable. All the pain and hard training pays off. It means you are the best in the world, it is great.
“It is not just your medal but of several people who helped you. A piece of the medal goes to each of them.”
The Paralympic Winter Games take place in PyeongChang, South Korea from 9-18 March. Tickets can be purchased here.