“I hope to uphold my title as Paralympic champion in boarder-cross as well as take home the gold in banked slalom."
US Paralympic champion snowboarder Evan Strong has spoken of his satisfaction with winning his first World Para Snowboard World Cup crystal globe and is now targeting double gold at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.
Strong had a great 2016-17 season that allowed him to reach all his goals. He won the men’s snowboard cross SB-LL2 World Cup and got a silver medal at the Big White 2017 World Championships in Canada.
“My focus for the past two years was to win the crystal globe,” Strong said. “I have won every other medal that is possible on the circuit. Last year, being the first year being a dad, I didn’t get it. This year I did, and I actually won two. I won the crystal globes in boarder-cross and the overall combined. They are a testament to consistency over a season and I’m really proud of that.
“When you are looking at your performance race-to-race sometimes you get caught up in little things.
“There is always room for improvement of course. But I did achieve what I set out to”.
Strong is now taking some time out in Maui before he resumes training. He and his family will go camping and hiking and they will explore the Hawaiin Islands.
When he starts training again in Lake Tahoe and Colorado, he will have not one but two goals in mind for next season.
“I hope to uphold my title as Paralympic champion in boarder-cross as well as take home the gold in banked slalom,” he said.
To reach the top of the podium, he will have to beat his biggest rival, snowboard-cross and banked slalom world champion Finn Matti Suur-Hamari.
“We are great friends. It’s good to see him doing well,” Strong commented. “Some courses just work better for different riders and he has been putting in a lot of focus and effort. It’s nice to see it paying off for him.”
Demonstrating his form further, Sochi 2014 gold medallist Strong also won an able-bodied men’s national Championship race at the end of the season, a lifelong dream.
“I happened to be sick when the adaptive division was happening, my first sick day in racing ever. But I’m beyond stoked on being an able body national champ in boarder-cross! It’s the first time a disabled athlete has won an able body national.”
But Strong is also firmly grounded. His wife and daughter give him perspective after long months of travelling, competing and training.
“My daughter Indie is my daily inspiration. [She inspires me] to enjoy life, live in the moment, and remember what’s truly important.”
PyeongChang 2018 will take place from 9-18 March 2018 and feature 10 snowboard medal events in men’s and women’s snowboard-cross and banked slalom.