COORIEMUNGLE para-alpine skier Lara Falk never thought the chance would arise.
But the 21-year-old’s persistence has paid off, with Falk hand-picked in the Australian team for the upcoming Winter Paralympics.
Falk is set to act as a sighted guide for vision impaired para-alpine skier Patrick Jensen.
As sighted guide, Falk skis ahead of Jensen issuing voice commands and information about changes in pitch, rhythm and snow conditions, while racing at speeds of up to 120 kilometres.
I honestly never thought that I would have an opportunity like this. I'm honoured.Lara Falk
The pair will compete in the Slalom and Giant slalom for vision impaired athletes.
“I honestly never thought that I would have an opportunity like this, I am extremely honoured. It’s gratifying to have been selected for the Australian team alongside Patrick,” Falk said.
“I want to help Pat reach his goals, make sure I give him the best opportunity to ski to his fullest potential.”
Falk and Jensen are one of Australia’s brightest prospects, with the duo first pairing in 2016.
“I think the hype heading in towards PyeongChang is not comparable. The fact that this event is only every four years, it gives it more suspense and more excitement,” Falk said.
The Chef de Mission of the Australian Paralympic team, Nick Dean, had faith Falk and Jensen could push to claim Australia’s first Para-alpine skiing gold medal since 2002.
“I would like to congratulate Lara and welcome her to her first Australian Paralympic Team,” Dean said.
“It is a true achievement to represent your country at such a high level.
“Lara and Patrick have a great relationship, which has translated well on the slopes and I’m looking forward to seeing their hard work and dedication come together in PyeongChang.”