Eighteen alpine skiers to watch in 2016-1711.11.2016
The Ones to Watch athletes will be amongst the medal contenders at the 2017 World Para Alpine Skiing Championships.
Eighteen of the world’s best alpine skiers, carrying multiple Paralympic, world and World Cup titles between them, have been named as Ones to Watch by IPC Alpine Skiing for the upcoming season.
The Europa Cup season gets underway in Landgraaf, the Netherlands, on 17-18 November. The first World Cup take places in Kuhtai, Austria, on 15-17 December.
The 2017 World Para Alpine Skiing Championships will highlight the season in Tarvisio, Italy, from 22-31 January, providing a good opportunity for skiers to test themselves ahead of the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.
More information about Tarvisio 2017, including applying for media accreditation, can be found at Tarvisio 2017 website.
Full biographies can be found at IPC Alpine Skiing website.
The Ones to Watch are:
Anna Schaffelhuber, 23, Germany
Schaffelhuber is one of Germany's most successful Para alpine skiers after sweeping five gold medals at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games. At the 2015 World Championships, Schaffelhuber was beaten to the top of the podium there times by her great rival Claudia Loesch of Austria.
Claudia Loesch, 28, Austria
Loesch returns in 2016-17 to defend her cherished downhill world title, as well as the slalom and super combined. She missed most of last season having been injured in a car accident.
Momoka Muraoka, 19, Japan
Muraoka’s quest for PyeongChang 2018 gained momentum in 2015-16 when she won the women's giant slalom sitting World Cup globe, as well as finishing second in super-G. Muraoka also finished third in the overall women's sitting World Cup.
Stephanie Jallen, 20, USA
Proving her place amongst the world's top skiers once again, Jallen finished second in the overall women's standing World Cup rankings in 2015-16 behind France's Marie Bochet. Her final placing was helped by two runner-up trophies in the slalom and giant slalom World Cups.
Andrea Rothfuss, 27, Germany
The women’s slalom Paralympic champion will be aiming to overcome Bochet herself this season, having finished third in the super-G World Cup in 2015-16.
Marie Bochet, 22, France
Unbeaten at the last two World Championships, Bochet also claimed her 50th World Cup victory last season. The Frenchwoman is the owner of 11 individual world titles and four Paralympic golds, having missed out in the slalom in Sochi to Rothfuss.
Danelle Umstead, 44, USA
Visually impaired US skier Danelle Umstead and her guide husband Rob are together known as team Vision4Gold. Their incredible relationship has taken them to two Paralympic Winter Games and has seen them step onto the podium twice consecutively.
Kelly Gallagher, 31, Great Britain
Britain’s first Winter Paralympic gold medallist changed her guide last season, competing with Gary Smith in the World Cup Finals where she reached the podium several times in both the speed and technical editions.
Jae Rim Yang, 26, South Korea
Yang is one her country’s brightest medal hopes for her home Games at PyeongChang 2018. She has achieved several top three finishes at World and Europa Cups with various guides.
Corey Peters, 33, New Zealand
The defending super-G and downhill world champion, in 2015-16 Peters focused on his World Cup performance, achieving a top three finish with second overall in the downhill.
Taiki Morii, 36, Japan
Morii heads to Tarvisio 2017 as the overall 2015-16 men’s sitting World Cup winner, as well as claiming individual titles in slalom and giant slalom.
Georg Kreiter, 31, Germany
Kreiter will defend world titles in the super combined and giant slalom in 2015-16.
Markus Salcher, 25, Austria
In 2015-16, Salcher finished second in the overall men's standing World Cup, helped by wins in super-G and downhill. He is the downhill and super-G Paralympic champion.
Mitchell Gourley, 25, Australia
On the World Cup circuit, Gourley finished second in the downhill, super-G and giant slalom, leading to a third place finish in the overall men’s standing World Cup last season.
Miroslav Haraus, 30, Slovakia
The super combined world champion will get the chance to defend his title in 2017 with guide Maros Hudik.
Mac Marcoux, 19, Canada
Skiing with new guide Jack Leitch in 2016-17, Marcoux will be aiming to build on his past achievements which include a downhill world title and Paralympic giant slalom gold.
Jon Santacana Maiztegui, 36, Spain
In 2015-16 Santacana Maiztegui and guide Miguel Galindo took third in the slalom and giant slalom World Cup. They will hope to be back to gold-medal winning form at the 2017 Worlds, having missed out on the top step in 2015.
Giacomo Bertagnolli, 17, Italy
Getting the chance to ski in front of a home crowd in 2017, Bertagnolli will enter the World Championships as the overall winner from last season’s men’s visually impaired World Cup.
The 2016-17 IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup season features stops in Kuhtai and St. Moritz, Switzerland, on 19-22 December where a parallel slalom demonstration event will be held. Innerkrems, Austria, and Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, will host World Cups before Tarvisio 2017.
The circuit moves to Asia in March with races in Hakuba, Japan, swiftly followed by the World Cup Finals in PyeongChang. This will act as the Test Event for the next Paralympic Games with exactly one year to go between 9-18 March.
The Europa Cup takes in Veysonnaz, Switzerland; Kranjska Gora; Sljeme, Croatia; and Stara Planina, Serbia, before returning to Veysonnaz for the finals in March.