Oksana Shyshkova: The quest for improvement14.02.2019
Paralympic champion targets more progress at Worlds
Ukraine's Oksana Shyshkova was one of the stars of Para Nordic at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games. She started all seven races that she was eligible for in the vision impaired class and she medalled in six of them.
The highlights were her two gold medals in the biathlon middle and anchoring her country to victory in the mixed relay with teammates Liudmyla Liashenko, Yuliia Batenkova-Baumann and Iurii Uktin.
Along with her guide Vitalii Kazakov she also won silver in the biathlon sprint, biathlon individual and cross-country 15km as well as bronze in the cross-country sprint. It shows a massive improvement from the Sochi 2014 Winter Games when she picked up four bronze medals.
I keep improving myself. I keep improving my technique, training really hard. Yes, PyeongChang passed but sport life still continues and you always have to improve yourself so I am here."
Despite all that success her feet are firmly on the ground as she looks to make more progress in the sport.
"As you can see I'm still in sport. I keep improving myself. I keep improving my technique, training really hard. Yes, PyeongChang passed but sport life still continues and you always have to improve yourself so I am here," said Shyshkova.
The 27-year-old has started this season in good form with three wins and another nine podium finishes from from the first two World Cups in Vuokatti, Finland and Ostersund, Sweden.
She has done remarkably well considering she faced some health issues over the summer after the Paralympics.
"I had some summer vacation but mostly I spent it for my health because I had some loss of vision and I had to do some recovery for my health condition," explained Shyshkova.
She will be hoping that her early season form continues in time for the World Championships which are being held in Prince George, Canada from 15-24 February.
"Time will show. I'm working hard to perform well at the World Championships."
Unusually for a Nordic athlete Shyshkova is not a big fan of winter or the cold temperatures but her obvious love and dedication to the sport overcome her lack of enthusiasm for the weather conditions.
"Once I tried it I couldn't stop doing this sport even though I don't like winter and cold weather. I really like this sport because here you can open something new for yourself and every day, every time you have so many details you can improve and discover. It's a really hard sport but it's my sport and I really like it."
More information on the World Para Nordic Skiing Championships is available on the Prince George 2019 website.