Search for the top medallist at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games, and there you will find Slovakia’s Henrieta Farkasova. With her guide Natalia Subrtova, the vision impaired skier collected four gold medals and a silver to finish as the Games most successful athlete.
Her stunning performance comes in at No. 5 on the International Paralympic Committee’s Top 10 Moments of 2018.
The pair were almost flawless in every run down the icy slopes at the Jeongseon Alpine Centre. They skied in perfect unison, with Farkasova trusting every command from her guide who was skiing just metres ahead of her.
They kicked off their PyeongChang 2018 campaign by winning both speed events: downhill and then the super-G. The dynamic duo won the super combined, and then showed their talents in the technical events, taking the giant slalom.
While making it look easy on the slopes, Farkasova said waking up each morning to race, then meeting expectations is harder than it seems.
"We are always trying to set new goals to motivate us, there is always somewhere we can go next,” Farkasova had said before their last medal race. “It's not about winning so many races but as [Olympic Alpine skiing gold medallist] Mikaela Shiffrin says, 'You are only as good as your last race.’
“This is our secret.”
Farkasova were going for a perfect Games, but she was thwarted on the final day of the Games.
Great Britain’s Menna Fitzpatrick stunned the Slovakian to win her first Paralympic title. The British alpine skier was guided by Jennifer Kehoe.
“How Farkasova skied was out of our control,” Fitzpatrick had said. “We just had to put in our best performance. And we fought the whole way down.”
Despite an otherwise dominant Paralympics, Farkasova’s silver still hurt.
She was just 0.66 seconds away from a fifth gold.
"It's been a very emotional day for us as you can obviously see,” Farkasova said. “We are very disappointed with our performance. It was not what we normally do, how we normally ski. There are a lot of negative emotions right now, not because of the result but because of the performance.”
Four out of five victories was still the best result by any alpine skier in PyeongChang. In total, Farkasova now has 12 Paralympic medals (nine golds) over three Games.
The countdown of the IPC’s Top 10 Moments continues until 31 December.