Helene Ripa22 August 1971 Stockholm, Sweden
- LATEST TRIUMPHS:
- 2015 IPC Biathlon and Cross-Country Skiing World Championships – Silver: sprint classic cross-country; Bronze; middle distance classic cross-country
- Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games – Gold: long distance classic cross-country; Silver: 4 x 2.5km mixed cross-country relay
- 2013 IPC Biathlon and Cross-Country Skiing World Championships – Gold: sprint classic cross-country; Bronze: middle distance classic cross-country
After her leg was amputated above the knee in 1986 due to cancer, Ripa initially swam competitively for her country at the Barcelona 1992 Paralympic Games.
But in just three seasons on the competitive Para Nordic skiing circuit, Ripa has won gold at a Paralympic Winter Games and has medalled at two World Championships.
Having debuted in 2012, the Swede went onto win the sprint classic world title on home snow in only her second major international competition. The following season, Ripa was to come second at the World Cup Finals in Sochi, giving her rivals an indication of what they could expect on the same trails just over one year later.
Ripa, a graphic designer by trade, originally tried Para Nordic skiing in 2006 when she was on holiday. Encouraged by her husband, she eventually found a prosthetic that felt good enough and decided to go for the Paralympic dream once again.
It was indeed at Sochi 2014 that Ripa really began to shine. Beating Ukrainian Paralympic silver medallist Iullia Batenkova into first place by a fraction of a second in the long distance classic, Ripa had firmly made her mark on the women’s standing field.
She will try to do that again at the 2017 World Para Nordic Skiing Championships in Finsterau, Germany, against her rival from recent seasons, Oleksandra Kononova of Ukraine.
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