Panorama 2015 - History
Aleksandra Frantceva is Russia's top visually impaired alpine skier heading into the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.© • Marcus Hartmann
In 2013 Marie Bochet entered the history books, sweeping the board with five gold medals to become the first ever female para-alpine skier to win downhill, slalom, giant slalom, super combined and super-G titles at the same event.
2013 – La Molina, Spain
For the last major international competition before the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, over 120 athletes from 29 countries gathered in the Spanish resort of La Molina to test their mettle over eight days of competition at the 2013 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships.
France topped the medals table once again thanks to 18-year-old standing skier Marie Bochet who entered the history books, sweeping the board with five gold medals to become the first ever female para-alpine skier to win downhill, slalom, giant slalom, super combined and super-G titles at the same event
There was an impressive performance from Russia’s Aleksandra Frantceva also, picking up three golds and two silver in the women’s visually impaired events and placing herself firmly on the road to success at Sochi 2014 after disappointment three years earlier at Vancouver 2010.
Faces to emerge at La Molina included Austria’s Markus Salcher who picked up titles in the downhill and super-G men’s standing as well as 15-year-old Russian Alexey Bugaev who won two silvers in the giant slalom and super combined.
France won a total of 12 medals including seven golds equalled by Austria who just lost out by one silver gong. Russia completed the top three with 11 medals including four golds.
2011 - Sestriere, Italy
The first World Championships following the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games involved 130 athletes from 23 countries.
Using the venue which was used during the Torino 2006 Paralympic Winter Games, skiers competed in downhill, giant slalom, super-G, super combined and team events.
At the Opening Ceremony, IPC President Sir Philip Craven highlighted that Sestriere marked the start of a long road for skiers towards the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.
“When you have such a wonderful competition and when it is the first World Championships following the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games, it is the start of a new cycle.
“It is the ideal year for nations to bring their latest and most dynamic athletes to the World Championships and this is the time to see the new competition as we start to move forward to Sochi 2014.”
The star of the event and top medial winner was France’s Vincent Gauthier-Manuel, who claimed four gold and two silver medals at the Championships, helping his country top the medals table.
Born without a left arm, 25 year old Gauthier-Manuel won gold in the standing events for super combined, slalom and giant slalom as well as the team event. In addition he picked up silver in the downhill and super-G standing races.
Spain’s Jon Santacana Maiztegui, a 30-year-old visually impaired skier, was also a big winner claiming three gold medals in super G, super combined and giant slalom with his guide Miguel Galindo Garces as well as two silvers in downhill and slalom. His success in Sestriere clearly caught the public’s attention as he was voted January’s IPC Athlete of the Month for his achievements.
After winning three gold medals and a silver in Vancouver the year before, Slovakia’s Henrieta Farkasova did even better in Sestriere winning four individual gold medals and a bronze in the team event.
Together with her guide Natalie Subrtova, the visually impaired 24year-old claimed world titles in downhill, super combined, slalom and giant slalom.
France finished with 18 medals, including eight golds, which put them ahead of Germany (15 medals including 7 golds) in second and Slovakia (11 medals and 5 golds) in third.
2009 - High 1 Resort, Korea
A powerful performance from three German athletes gave their country the number one position in the team competition, which officially ended the 2009 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships.
Andrea Rothfuss, Martin Braxenthaler and Ralf Frummet comprised the German team, with a winning total time of 7:20.36. The German team was followed by Austria’s Danja Haslacher, Harald Eder and Hubert Mandl with a second place time of 7:25.37. Coming in third position was Switzerland’s Karin Fasel, Thomas Pfyl and Michael Bruegger at 7:32.32. A total of 55 athletes competed at the Apollo 4 venue, which is located at the High 1 Ski Resort in Gangwon-Do, Korea. The start elevation of 1,220m sent the athletes down a vertical drop of 355m, to a finishing 865m.
The 2009 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships ran from 19 February – 1 March, and were organised by the Korea Sports Association for the Disabled (KOSAD), the Korea Adaptive Ski Association (KASA) and the High 1 Ski Resort. The Championships brought in a total of 160 athletes from 25 different countries to the slopes in Korea.
The programme at High 1 Ski Resort included competitions in slalom, giant slalom, super-G, super combined and downhill. Supporters to the event included the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Korean Paralympic Committee, the Seoul Olympic Sports Promotion Foundation, Gangwon-Do, the Korea Ski Association, Taebaek-si and Jeongseon-gun.