The Para alpine skiing World Cup taking place until Sunday (30 January) in Are is the final test for most athletes before the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games and the last World Cup of the 2021-2022 season.
For Sweden’s Ebba Aarsjoe it is also a chance to feel a bit of the atmosphere she hopes to see next year when Are hosts the Para alpine skiing events at the World Para Snow Sports Championships.
Aarsjoe has just returned with two gold medals from the World Championships in Lillehammer and saw the impact of the competition in neighbour Norway.
“I am really looking forward to it, we feel honoured to have the World Championships,” said the Swede. “It is home, I know the slope, I know the people, so it is going to be really fun.”
January has been a rollercoaster ride for Aarsjoe. She missed the first week of the World Championships in Lillehammer due to COVID. Once she recovered and flew to Norway, her first event ended up in disappointment as she crashed in the giant slalom.
Two days later, she returned to take gold in the women’s slalom followed by a second triumph in the parallel event.
“I had a lot of resting days, waiting and waiting. I was so excited about coming [to Lillehammer] and then I finally got the negative test. I was sitting at home and thinking ‘Oh, I wanna be there!’,” Aarsjoe said.
“I feel so relieved because I missed all those races and I didn’t make it through the giant slalom,” she said after winning her career’s first world title at Lillehammer 2021.
WORLD CHAMPIONS BACK TO THE SNOW
In Are, Aarsjoe will meet again Russian skier Varvara Voronchikhina who she faced in the women’s parallel event final on Sunday.
Other world champions in action in Sweden are Great Britain’s Menna Fitzpatrick and Mille Knight in the women’s vision impaired events, Germany’s Anna-Lena Forster in the women’s standing and Austrian skiers Markus Salcher in the men’s standing and Johannes Aigner in the men’s vision impaired races.
The men’s sitting events will see another chapter in one of the biggest rivalries in Para alpine skiing with Norway’s Jesper Pedersen and Netherlands’ Jeroen Kampschreur.
In Lillehammer, the home skier bagged three golds and the Dutch one.
Live results from Are 2022 are available here.