Melissa Perrine ready for the PyeongChang Paralympics

DETERMINED: Para-alpine skier Melissa Perrine is hungry for a podium finish at the PyeongChang Paralympics. The games will run from March 9 to 18. Photo: Emily Bennett
DETERMINED: Para-alpine skier Melissa Perrine is hungry for a podium finish at the PyeongChang Paralympics. The games will run from March 9 to 18. Photo: Emily Bennett

Para-alpine skier Melissa Perrine is hungry for a podium finish at the PyeongChang Paralympics.

The Paralympic hopeful will travel to the United States this week for a fortnight-long holding camp with her team before the games.

If Perrine is named on the final Australia Paralympics Committee team list, she will arrive in South Korea on March 2, where she will take part in downhill training from March 7 to 9 and march in the Paralympics opening ceremony on March 9. 

Subject to the weather in PyeongChang, she will compete in her first race on March 10. 

While there is a strong visually-impaired female class in the games, Perrine is confident in her ability to perform. “I’ve hit some highs and I’ve hit some lows. I’ve experienced the entire gambit of emotions when it comes to ski racing – and it’s a rollercoaster,” she said.

“I’ve reached a point in my career where I can accept fluctuations in a situation. If something happens, I think I’d be able to adapt. Hopefully I can take the experience of those eight years on the circuit and put it all together.”

Believe - Melissa Perrine, Para-alpine Skiing. Video: Australian Paralympic Team

One of Perrine’s main competitors is Slovak alpine skier and five-time Paralympic champion Henrieta Farkasova. “She’s one of the most talented and consistent females on the circuit,” Perrine said.  “She’s very capable of pulling out her best skiing at the big races.”

Perrine could compete in five races in total, including the downhill race, two super-G races, the giant slalom and the slalom. “The terrain for every race we ski is different. This hill is quite technical,” she said. “It’s going to showcase the best of our sport. It’s going to be an awesome spectacle to watch.” 

Perrine, who has been home in the Highlands for several weeks, thanked the wider community for its support. 

She also thanked her gym Southern Highlands Strength and Conditioning as well as Moss Vale Motor Group for its recent donation of an intercomm communications system. The system will allow Perrine to communicate with her sighted guide Christian Geiger during her races.

Moss Vale Holden salesperson Brendan Alliston and Melissa Perrine.

Moss Vale Holden salesperson Brendan Alliston and Melissa Perrine.

​The PyeongChang Paralympics will run from March 9 to 18. The official Paralympic team announcement will be made on Tuesday, February 20.