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The racing career

Visually Impaired Skiers

We love sports. And we also love skiing. And because this is exactly what the team of visually impaired skiers love as well, we decided to support them and provided them with Hannah ski jackets and trousers. And you can believe us that skiing with impaired sight is far from easy. Read more about the competition career of the whole team of visually impaired skiers who started their first year of representing the Czech Republic at international competitions.

The team comprises 8 contestants (four visually impaired and their four guides), two trainers and a wheelchair competitor with her assistant.

The pairs are competitor Cecílie Novotná (B1) with her guide Žaneta Valentová, competitor Michaela Krychtálková (B3) with her guide Hana Koprnová, competitor Jakub Giecek (B3) with his guide Vít Paterek, and competitor Tadeáš Kříž (B3) with his guide Radim Nevrlý. The team also includes young wheelchair user Kristýna Židlická, who rides monoski under the leadership of her trainer Jan Číhák and his assistant Kateřina Balharová. And, last but not least, the team also includes trainers Zbyněk Janečka and Jan Číhák.

Sight-handicapped alpine skiing is quite a specific discipline that requires years of practice before the skiers can set about contesting.

As sight impairment is the result of many causes and, as such, is classified into many categories, below you will rather find the classification of the sight handicap into the groups used in competitions (being based on the conventional eye classification for the sight handicap).

B1 – blind people

B2 – people with partial sight (virtually blind people)

B3 – weak-sighted people (capable of independent orientation and movement at a specially modified and secured track).

Our way for the racing career started in November in Landgraaf, the Netherlands, where all competitors submitted to sight classification and were assigned to sight groups. In our team, therefore, we have one completely blind (B1) and three weak-sighted (B3) contestants. The competitors also tried to take part in their historically first competitions there, in which they all achieved quite remarkable results.

Their another trip led them to the December contests on the Pitztal glacier in Austria, where all our contestants achieved excellent results again, bringing home a couple of 4th places and improvement in the FIS scores.

The competitions presently became for us a place of minor achievements, with some competitors reaching the immediate level of the European Cup. At present, the complete team is concentrated on training only at Červenohorské Sedlo, which has become our regular base.

Jan Číhák

Trainer of the handicapped representatives of the CR in alpine skiing