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Vilde Nilsen - PyeongChang 2018

Vilde Nilsen

Nordic Skiing
1

Vilde Nilsen is one of Norway’s emerging stars in Nordic skiing.

She made a name for herself at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games, claiming an unexpected silver in the women’s cross-country sprint standing.

Nilsen extended her success into the new season, with five golds and one silver in cross-country, and two silvers in biathlon across two World Cups. She is now preparing for her second World Championships, set to take place in Prince George, Canada.

At her first in Finsterau, Germany, in 2017, she finished fifth in both the cross-country sprint and mixed relay.

When she is not on the skis, Nilsen can be seen going on forest walks with her dog, fishing, hunting, playing the violin, guitar and piano.

At age eight she contracted linear scleroderma in her left foot, leg, thigh and hip. The condition attacks the skin, muscles and connective tissue and resulted in restricted mobility in the joints, less muscle mass and a leg length difference.

"I've always been a girl with a lot of energy and a great competitive spirit. I think it was sport that helped me through the most difficult time when my illness was at its worst."

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Impaired range of motion, Leg length difference
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
LW4

Further personal information

Residence
Tromsø, NOR
Languages
Norwegian

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She took up cross-country skiing at age three, and began biathlon at age nine. She opted to pursue Para sport at age 13.
Why this sport?
She discovered Para sport for the first time after watching the opening ceremony of the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi. "I've always been a girl with a lot of energy and a great competitive spirit. I think it was sport that helped me through the most difficult time when my illness was at its worst."
Club / Team
Kvaloysletta Skilag: Norway
Name of coach
Magnus Evenby [national], NOR; Bjorn Kristiansen [national], NOR
Training Regime
She trains twice a day.

General interest

Memorable sporting achievement
Winning silver in the sprint classic style at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. (paralympic.org, 23 Feb 2019)
Hero / Idol
Norwegian cross-country skier Marit Bjorgen. (mot.no, 27 May 2020; paralympic.org, 23 Feb 2019)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Be brave and believe in your dreams. Do not let anyone but yourself decide what you can and cannot do." (mot.no, 27 May 2020)
Awards and honours
She was named 2019 Female Para Athlete of the Year in Norway. (aftenposten.no, 13 Jan 2020; Instagram profile, 05 Jan 2020)
Other sports
She competed in both biathlon and cross-country skiing at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. (SportsDeskOnline, 24 Dec 2018)
Ambitions
To finish on the podium at the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing. (paralympic.org, 23 Feb 2019)
Impairment
At age eight she contracted linear scleroderma in her left foot, leg, thigh and hip. The condition attacks the skin, muscles and connective tissue and resulted in restricted mobility in the joints, less muscle mass and a leg length difference. (skiforbundet.no, 2016)
Other information
BIATHLON
She competes in both Para biathlon and Para cross-country skiing. "I have been doing biathlon for a very long time and I just had a break this year [speaking in 2020]. I tried to focus on biathlon for a while, but it was very hard to focus on cross-country too because I had to do some classic skiing. It takes a lot of time to train with the weapon and it took up a lot of energy. So this year I decided to just focus on cross-country. But I couldn't resist to compete at the 2021 World Para Snow Sports Championships in Lillehammer, Norway. But we will see next year if I will compete in biathlon in Lillehammer." (paralympic.org, 16 May 2020)

AMBASSADOR
In 2020 she became an ambassador for MOT, a global charity founded by Norwegian speed skaters Atle Varvik and Johann Olav Koss which aims to create a safer society through education and sports. "I want to become ambassador of MOT because I want to help promote bravery. For me it has been necessary and important to be brave, to be able to reach my goals and have a good everyday life. When I got sick and also got the impairment, I decided to see it as opportunities, not limitations. I had to be brave and dare to have the courage to live a valuable life. That is why MOT has been very important to me." (mot.no, 27 May 2020)

Results

Unit Date Rank
2017 IPC Nordic skiing World Championships Finsterau, GER (Finsterau, Germany)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's Sprint - Free Style Standing Final 2017-02-12 5
Mixed Relay Final 2017-02-15 5
Pyeongchang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games (Pyeongchang, South Korea)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 6km Standing Final 2018-03-10 5
Women's 1.5km Sprint Classic Standing Final 2018-03-14 2
Women's 7.5km Classic Standing Final 2018-03-17 5
4x2.5km Mixed Relay Final 2018-03-18 8
Prince George 2019 World Para Nordic Skiing Championships (Prince George, Canada)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's Middle Distance - Free Style Standing Final 2019-02-17 1
Women's Sprint - Free Style Standing Final 2019-02-18 1
Women's Sprint Standing Final 2019-02-20 3
Open Relay Final 2019-02-23 1
Women's Long Distance - Classic Standing Final 2019-02-24 1