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Visually impaired downhill skier happy to move on from Sochi woes

9 March 2018 9:35 AM
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Her form line is strong. Perrine – who has cataracts, microphthalmia, nystagmus and glaucoma – has claimed medals in all four of her previous World Cup competitions and is ranked top-five in three events.

“I’d love to achieve podiums and I feel that if [Christian] and I can put together solid runs then that is most definitely achievable,” Perrine says.

“[I’m] definitely eyeing those off and it is really hard to win medals, especially with the classification and they way it is right now.

“[But] there are so many top girls in my division. We’ve got girls from Great Britain, Germany, Slovakia, Belgium. There’s about, gosh, more than a handful of us that can win a medal on any day.

“It’s ski racing, so it’s completely unpredictable. You just don’t know what’s going to happen.”

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Perrine knows better that most the unpredictable nature of alpine skiing after a string of dramatic and forgettable moments in Sochi.

After narrowing missing the podium in the downhill, she was in a medal-winning position in the super-G before losing control and recording a DNF.

Then she was disqualified in the super combined for attaching a visor to her race helmet. Finally, a ski came loose in the slalom and giant slalom, drawing to an end a cursed Russian experience.

“Everything that could go wrong basically did go wrong basically,” she says.

“Poor equipment choice made by myself, my guide and my coaches led to a disqualification when I was in a medal position, which was unfortunate.

“A couple of ski mishaps, a couple of disqualifications – basically it was just not a good time.

“Sometimes it sits in the back of your mind but you do try and find a way to move on. You have to.”

Geiger, 29, is the women’s coach of the Australian Para-alpine ski team and both he and Perrine hope the new dynamic of his dual role will pay dividends.

“He’s a good influence – for the most part,” Perrine says with a chuckle.

“We do [know each other inside out],” she says. “We know each other really well.

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