Swiss teenager Robin Cuche surprised himself at the 2017 World Para Alpine Skiing Championships in Tarvisio, Italy, in January, by bringing home a medal.
“It was harder and when after I thought, ‘Yeah, I have no chance to medal,’ it came,” said Cuche who ended up taking silver by 0.07 seconds in the men’s super combined standing for his first Worlds medal. “It was amazing,”
Now, after placing himself firmly in contention to make the Swiss team for the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Paralympic Games, the youngster has his eyes on the top prize.
“If everything is good, I hope for a medal [in PyeongChang],” he said. “I did [win a medal] this year, and, yeah, why not.”
At 18 years old, Cuche will be amongst a raft of young skiers aiming to make an impact in just over one year’s time. It will be his second-straight Paralympic Winter Games, and he thinks his performance in South Korea will be better than his showing four years ago when he finished 12th and 18th on the men’s slalom and giant slalom standing, respectively.
“It was an amazing experience [in Sochi] and now, the second, we’ll see,” Cuche said. “The first one was just to see how it goes with the public, with the fans and with the Opening Ceremony and everything. And now for next year, I can focus on the races and be ready.”
Cuche will spend some time in the offseason in La-Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, to help him prepare for the Paralympics.
After mending a shoulder injury earlier this season, Cuche said he plans to do plenty of physical therapy to improve his balance, speed and strength. He also anticipates his coaches will help him with his skiing techniques.
But with this season’s World Cup Finals set to get underway on Sunday (12 March), Cuche does not want to get caught up with next season.
He still has high aims for an overall top-five finish at what will also be the PyeongChang 2018 Test Event.
“It’s more important, for the Paralympics, that you prepare,” he said. “But it’s not just the Paralympics, there is a World Cup, too, and preparation and defeat … It’s a season like the others.”
The World Cup Finals and PyeongChang 2018 Test Event will begin with downhill on 12 March and includes a full programme of technical and speed events.
Live results will be available at World Para Alpine Skiing’s website.