Ahead of the Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi from March 7 to 14, Bibian Mentel travelled the world to compete at the IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup competitions for Para-Snowboard Cross. On February 12 Bibian won Gold in La Molina (Spain) and in January she came in first in Copper, USA and Big White, Canada. Winning the La Molina World Cup also made her World Champion 2013-2014.
Bibian is an extraordinary woman! She lost one of her lower legs due to illness when she was preparing for the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. Seven months later she was already the Dutch Para-Snowboard Cross Champion! Bibian has become a mother and started the Mentelity Foundation, stimulating children en adults with physical disabilities to live an active life style through board sports. She is the coach of a team of snowboarders, such as Merijn Koek, alumnus of the Johan Cruyff College Nijmegen who also qualified for Sochi 2014, and – last but not least – she studied the International Master of Sport Management and graduated in June 2013.
Through her outstanding achievements in sports and her work with the Mentelity Foundation, Bibian shows the world (and not only people with a handicap), that obstacles can make you more determined to achieve your goals. It goes even further than that! She lets us understand that sport can be an excellent way to create possibilities, live a life beyond hurdles and enjoy it to the fullest!
Bibian: “I am looking forward to Sochi. I have been involved with the process of getting snowboarding on the Paralympic program for years, and now I am able to compete myself! We hope that the Paralympics in Sochi will receive as much attention as those in London. It is a great opportunity to present para-snowboarding to a new audience and get worldwide recognition for it.”
We wish Bibian and Merijn good luck in Sochi!