Ukraine’s Bui looks to home Nordic skiing World Cup

The young Ukrainian wants to show her best form in front of a home crowd when the circuit comes to her country for the first time. 10 Jan 2017
Women on cross country ski in action on the track

Ukraine's Iryna Bui, Ukraine powers through the course at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games

By Tim Norris | For the IPC

One young skier cannot wait for Ukraine’s first-ever Nordic skiing World Cup. Iryna Bui is the 2012 world champion in the middle distance biathlon and will look to put in a strong performance in front of her home crowd ahead of the World Championships in Finsterau, Germany, in February.

She is understandably delighted that Ukraine will host a tournament at the Western Center for the first time between 13-20 January.

“I’m very pleased that Ukraine will host such a high level tournament,” Bui said. “I’ll be in my homeland, which gives me the desire to show my best! I’m really looking forward to this World Cup. Of course I have some aims and plans for this event, but time will tell in terms of how I get on. I have a lot to do before the World Cup.”

The prospect of skiing in front of a home crowd clearly excites Bui.

“It’s a big honour to perform at home and I feel a big responsibility. Hosting a series in Ukraine motivates me a lot. For my part, I can promise to put in my best effort. We have a saying, ‘east or west, home is best’ – I hope for great support for the World Cup.”

She knows preparation is key if she is to make an impact this season.

“At the moment, I’m working on my emotional balance, stability and self control, the key factors for an athlete. Obviously, I’d like to perform well and win several medals, that’s the reason I train. A medal is a result of hard work, not only on a ski run, but in your head. As I said before, I’m working on my internal balance: fitness, emotions, stability, mood and rest,” added Bui.

Western Center is the last World Cup before the Worlds, which get underway on 10 February. Bui realises that performing well in Ukraine will put her in a strong position.

“The series in Ukraine will be held before the most important event of the season, the World Championships. It’s a good chance to test yourself, make last-minute corrections and eliminate mistakes,” she added.

Bui finished by looking ahead to 2018, when the Paralympic Winter Games will be held in PyeongChang, South Korea.

“A Paralympic year is the most important in the life of every athlete. And all of us have the same goals. 2018 will be the most difficult year in terms of training! But I expect to show my best in 2018.”

Live results will be available for the Western Center World Cup at World Para Nordic Skiing’s website.

The Finsterau 2017 World Para Nordic Skiing Championships will gather 135 of the world’s best biathletes and cross-country skiers from 25 countries in Finsterau between 10-19 February. They will be followed by the PyeongChang 2018 Test Event from 10-15 March.