Oksana Shyshkova has always enjoyed the challenge of learning new skills. She was part of a choir and circus school when she was younger and then moved into sport, playing football and trying athletics.
But, as with many athletes, it was the advice of one of her coaches that led her to Nordic skiing.
Having taken up the sport at just 17, she has firmly established herself as one of the top skiers on the circuit, winning medals at the 2011, 2013 and 2015 World Championships.
Shyshkova has made a strong start to this season and sits top of the World Cup rankings in the women’s visually impaired in both cross-country skiing and biathlon. Ahead of the 2017 World Championships in Finsterau, Germany, she shared her three favourite things about skiing.
“The first thing I like about skiing is speed. It is exciting when you race faster than the wind, sometimes battling rain or snow to get to the finish line.”
“Sport helps me to stay fit and develop my power, coordination and confidence.”
“Last but not least – I simply enjoy what I do. I do not think you can keep doing something if you do not like doing it!”
The 2017 World Para Nordic Skiing Championships will gather 135 of the world’s best biathletes and cross-country skiers from 25 countries and will be held in Finsterau, Germany, between 10-19 February.
All competitions are being livestreamed at Finsterau2017.com.