a male Para Nordic skier

Ukraine Taras Rad

PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games – Gold: biathlon middle distance
2017 World Para Nordic Skiing Championships: Silver - biathlon sprint, middle and long distance
2016-17 Biathlon World Cup: Overall second

Taras Rad had a Winter Paralympic debut to remember as he claimed gold in the men’s biathlon middle distance sitting at PyeongChang 2018. The youngster is the newest man in a long line of prolific Nordic skiers coming from Ukraine.

He had also enjoyed success in the 2016-17 season.

Rad claimed triple silver in the biathlon sprint, middle and long distance events at his first World Championships in Finsterau, Germany. He also finished second in the 2016-17 biathlon World Cup overall rankings.

Rad injured his leg at 14 years old, the wound was not treated properly at the hospital he went to and he caught an infection. Doctors later had to amputate it to save his life.

Soon after, Rad was introduced to cross-country skiing and biathlon through the Invasport Para sports organisation in Ukraine. He had practiced football and athletics before having his leg amputated and wanted to continue being involved in sports.

Coach Viktor Fedorchak encouraged him to start training biathlon more seriously.

Rad now trains 12 times a week on the snow. He also goes to a swimming pool three times a week and cycles to school every day.