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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.”

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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