Thomas Pfyl coming back stronger for PyeongChang 2018

Swiss alpine skier training both physically and mentally after season-ending injury. 14 Aug 2017
a Para skier goes through a gate

Thomas Pfyl is determined to return even stronger for PyeongChang 2018.

ⒸTom Pennington - Getty Images
By Ryan Wilson | For the IPC

“I want to try to make myself stronger in the head, so I can quite easily go the start of the race.”

Thomas Pfyl is coming off an up and down season and one in which he acquired one of the most severe injuries of his career. But even then, the Swiss alpine skier is staying positive.

“Fortunately, I have been spared from major injuries in my career until the last season,” he said. “At first, it was very difficult, but then I could take a lot of positives from the injury. I will train hard to get even stronger.”

Pfyl opened the past season with multiple wins at the Europa Cup and World Cup circuit in November and December. As a result, he found himself ranked amongst the best in the world in the men’s super-G (second) and downhill (fourth) standings through December 2016.

But after suffering an injury on his right leg at the World Cup race in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, his season was over.

“I had to cancel my season prematurely,” he said. “In addition, I could not participate in the World Championships in Tarvisio, Italy, which indeed was very hard for me. I was very sad.”

Despite the setback, Pfyl has bounced back well and is training again. “I am very confident that I will return strongly next season,” he said.

This off-season, in addition to staying health, the veteran athlete to improve his mental game.

“The mental area plays an important role in our sport,” he said. “I want to try to make myself stronger in the head, so I can quite easily go the start of the race.”

That will definitely give Pfyl an advantage heading into the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games. It will be his fourth Paralympics, and he will be looking to add to the silver and bronze medals he won at Torino 2006.

“The Paralympics is the biggest highlight,” he said. “I am already looking forward to this event.”