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Disabled Sportswoman of the Year

The student on the top step

München, 12/07/2017

Star of the last Winter Paralympics and, with a total of 20 World Championship medals is one of the most successful winter sportswomen ever. Now, Anna Schaffelhuber is Germany’s Disabled Sportswoman of the Year – for the fifth time.

Photo: Ralf Kuckuck

Anna (24) is studying to be a teacher – and she has been asked for her autograph during seminars. In spite of her fame, at LMU she remains focused on her studies. Her public role as a popular sports star is not one that she actively sought, she says. A native of Lower Bavaria, her unassuming and down-to-earth personality is unruffled and friendly, in spite of a packed schedule which makes “a student life” impossible. Her time with family and friends is also more restricted than she would wish, for her sporting success is not least the product of a demanding training program. “Of course, that’s not always fun, and sometimes I really have to knuckle down to it. Because my sport is such a demanding one, I am in effect a full-time skier and a part-time student,” she says. As a result, in order to keep up with her classmates, she must often work intensively on her studies – instead of taking a much-needed break.

Anna was born paralyzed from the waist down, and learned to ski when she was 5 years old – and has been a member of the German ski squad for the past 10 years. She is now in the middle of her preparations for the Paralympics in Pyeongchang in March, her next big challenge. After that, it’s straight back to work for her, catching up on what she has missed during her training, with her characteristic dedication and tenacity.