Ukraine´s Paralympic champions Oleksandra Kononova and Grygorii Vovchynskyi share much more than dozens of Nordic skiing competitions. They share a life.
They got married in 2011, four years after meeting for the first time at a skiing training camp in Ukraine. Together they have competed at two Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada, in 2010, and in Sochi, Russia, in 2014.
Kononova won four Paralympic golds overall and Vovchynskyi one.
Now, they are participating in the 2017 World Para Nordic Skiing Championships in Finsterau, Germany, and have already won four medals between them over the first two days of competition.
"We know that when we are on the tracks we have to focus on skiing. But back at home we are husband and wife again and have fun together and with our daughter Adrianna," said Kononova.
“Of course, we support each other as husband and wife. I love him, he is the best father.”
Vovchynskyi added: “Hopefully, our daughter will follow our footsteps and take up skiing as well. It is a great sport for anyone, men and women.
“As for Oleksandra [Kononova], I believe she is the head of the family. I love how she makes decisions.”
In Finsterau, Kononova won gold in Saturday’s women’s biathlon middle distance standing and silver in Sunday’s cross-country sprint.
“I feel confident. I want to give my best,” said Kononova, who will no longer be able to defend all six of her world titles from Cable 2015 after losing out to her compatriot Lyudmila Liashenko in the final of Sunday’s sprint event.
At the same time, Vovchynski won bronze in both events at Finsterau.
“These bronzes are like gold to me,” he said.
Live results and coverage from the 2017 World Para Nordic Skiing Championships are available at Finsterau2017.com.
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The competition can also be followed on Facebook.com/ParaNordic, Twitter and Instagram (@ParaNordic).