FEB 26, 2018
Whilst the successful Alpine and Nordic Olympic heroes from the Atomic team have just returned with lots of precious metals in their luggage, the countdown has started for the stars in the Redster Paralympics team for Pyeongchang from 9th to 18th March. Five atomic athletes are competing in Korea for Gold, Silver and Bronze: Claudia Lösch, Heike Eder, Thomas Grochar, Roman Rabl and Markus Gfatterhofer are ready as the new Atomic training video impressively shows. For the video shoot the Redster Paralympics racers also met their most famous team colleagues, even the new double Olympic winner Marcel Hirscher. He said “My team colleagues are courageous and in best form."
Shiffrin, Goggia, Ledecka, Gallhuber and Hirscher: medals are made in the APC! The Atomic Pro Center in Altenmarkt is the command centre for the racing experience of the most successful ski brand in the world. This is where everything comes together: the race material for the best athletes is built, tuned and fitted here. Also for the best athletes with disabilities who are now entering the race for the medals. Atomic expert Josef Oberauer has quickly become acquainted with the subject and offers exactly the same commitment that the APC team has for Shiffrin, Hirscher & Co. Are there any major differences in race tuning for the Paralympics starters Claudia Lösch, Heike Eder, Thomas Grochar, Roman Rabl and Markus Gfatterhofer compared to the Alpine stars? Oberauer: You can’t compare it: all of them are skiing on the latest Redster G9 series ladies model as the base, with the difference that the athletes bring a load of 3 to 3.5 G to the material.” And that, according to the tuning guru for the Paralympics has profound consequences: “It needs its own upper deck and its own plate to make sure that the material stands up to these extreme loads. The binding is completely locked and does not release under guarantee, this is why it needs its own special TÜV approval,” explains Oberauer. The preparation also needs a lot of precision and finesse: “If you’re on the edge with your mono ski, then you’re on it: this means that the tuning of the edges with hanging 0.2 to 0.4 needs to be exactly 100 percent.”
“I admire their determination, commitment and their professionalism. That is not about, getting up, getting dressed and training, as we know it. Each time it’s a huge effort. And then to see how they compete, how they work meticulously and attack, when it’s right, my heart really goes out to them every time: unbelievably great athletes and racers.”
The top stars, alongside the named five Paralympics starters, Christoph Schneider and Andreas Kurz also belong to the Redster unit as Paralympics racers. Every one of them has roughly 10 pairs of skis per discipline in their luggage, which for the participants in the mono ski competitions equals 20 individual skis they have to choose from. All of the racers in the Atomic team have chances of medals at the Paralympics, thanks to their top places in the World Cup and in the World Championships in 2017. Claudia Lösch won Gold twice, Silver twice, Bronze once; Roman Rabl and Thomas Grochar are also travelling to Korea as the World Cup winners in the technical disciplines. Markus Gfatterhofer, the former motocross rider and present mono ski GS specialist, now also wants to extend his collection of medals in Pyeongchang after his World Championship Bronze.
TRAINING WITH MARCEL HIRSCHER ON THE REITERALM, SCHLADMING
Before the Olympic Games there was a coincidental meeting with a prominent team colleague at the video shoot for the Redster Paralympics team: double Olympic winner Marcel Hirscher, found that “all of them were courageous and in best form”. If that’s not a good sign for the Paralympics!