The Swiss at the Winter-Paralympics 2018

The Paralympic Winter Games will be held in PyeongChang from 9 to 18 March, with 670 athletes from 50 countries competing in six disciplines. Find out more about Switzerland's athletes and their stories.

Alpine skiing

Michael Brügger (Plasselb, canton of Fribourg)


Date of birth: 27.05.1982

Occupation: Athlete

Classification: Standing (LW 4)

Impairment: Below-knee amputee

Origin of impairment: Congenital

Biggest achievements:

Gold downhill 2000 World Championships, silver giant slalom 1998 Paralympics, silver downhill 2010 Paralympics, silver downhill 2009 World Championships, silver downhill 2013 World Championships, silver super-G 2013 World Championships, bronze giant slalom 2013 World Championships

Portrait: Brügger made his Paralympics debut 20 years ago in Nagano, returning home from Japan with silver in the giant slalom. The high point of his career so far has been his silver in Vancouver in 2010 (downhill), where the double below-knee amputee won a medal for the first time in the combined 'standing' category. Away from his day job as an export specialist, Brügger also practises motocross. His goal in PyeongChang is to get back to peak performance following three years marked by injuries.

Robin Cuche (Saules, canton of Neuchâtel)


Date of birth: 21.05.1998

Occupation: Student

Classification: Standing (LW 9)

Impairment: Hemiplegic

Origin of impairment: Congenital

Biggest achievements:

Silver super-combined World Championships 2017

Portrait: Robin Cuche made his paralympic debut at Sochi in 2014. The nephew of Didier Cuche is training meticulously for his races and is, according to his trainer, an ultimate athlete. A silver medal at the 2017 World Championships has been the greatest sporting achievement to date for the French-speaking Swiss para skier, who has been paralysed on one side since birth.

Théo Gmür (Haute-Nendaz, canton of Valais)


Date of birth: 08.08.1996

Occupation: Student

Classification: Standing (LW 9-1)

Impairment: Hemiplegic

Origin of impairment: Cerebral oedema

Biggest achievements:

Silver giant slalom 2017 World Championships, World Cup overall winner 2017/18

Portrait: Since winning silver at the 2017 World Cup, there's no stopping this young athlete from the canton of Valais. In the space of a few short months, the sport student became World Cup champion for 2016/17, a Paralympics athlete and 'Allianz Newcomer 2017'. If he keeps up the pace, he is set to become Swiss para sport's new star skier. 

Christoph Kunz (Reichenbach, canton of Bern)


Date of birth: 24.03.1982

Occupation: Professional athlete

Classification: Sitting (LW 10)

Impairment: Paraplegic

Origin of impairment: Motorbike accident

Biggest achievements:

Gold, giant slalom, 2014 Paralympics

Gold, downhill, 2010 Paralympics

Gold, super-G, 2017 World Championships

Silver, giant slalom, 2010 Paralympics

Bronze, giant slalom, 2013 World Championships

Bronze, giant slalom, 2011 World Championships

Portrait: Christoph Kunz's sporting career began with athletics. A promising young runner, he was to be found at various track and cross-country events. In June 2000, Christoph was paralysed in a motorcycle crash and has been in a wheelchair ever since – a severe blow to the keen runner. It didn't take long for him to decide that his wheelchair was not going to keep him from elite sports.

After several attempts at endurance disciplines, the aspiring athlete from the Bernese Oberland found a new challenge in skiing. He was fascinated by monoski right from the start. It let him push himself to the limit and show what you can achieve with a disability.

In addition to being a double Paralympic winner and World Champion, his 15 World Cup titles and three-time giant slalom overall victories have made Christoph Kunz one of the world's leading para skiers in recent years.

Murat Pelit (Stabio, canton of Ticino)


Date of birth: 15.03.1982

Classification: Sitting (LW 11)

Impairment: Paraplegic

Origin of impairment: Illness

Portrait: Ticinese Murat Pelit has the reputation of a daredevil on the slopes. With top rankings interspersed with defeats, he has been called the Bode Miller of the para-alpine skiing. An amateur fisherman, he speaks four languages (Italian, German, French and Turkish). PyeongChang is his first Paralympics.

Thomas Pfyl (Schwyz, canton of Schwyz)


Date of birth: 01.01.1987

Occupation: Sportsman

Classification: Standing (LW 9)

Impairment: Right-sided hemiparesis

Origin of impairment: Congenital

Biggest achievements:

Silver slalom 2013 World Championships

Silver giant slalom 2011 World Championships

Silver downhill 2004 World Championships

Bronze super-G 2004 World Championships

Bronze super-G 2015 World Championships

Bronze super-combi 2011 World Cup

Bronze downhill 2011

Bronze super-G 2011 World Cup

Bronze giant slalom 2004 World Cup

Portrait: All-rounder Thomas Pfyl is one of Switzerland's most experienced skiers. Back in 2006, at the age of 19, he was already at the Paralympics, winning two medals for Switzerland. He is a keen player of Switzerland's national card game, jass, and used to work in an office and in sales before he took to the slopes. 

Stephani Victor (Park City, USA)


Date of birth: 29.08.1969

Occupation: Motivational speaker

Classification: Sitting (LW 12-2)

Impairment: Double below-knee amputee

Origin of impairment: Accident

Biggest achievements:

Gold super-combined 2010 Paralympics

Gold slalom 2006 Paralympics

Gold slalom 2009 World Championships

Gold giant slalom 2009 World Championships

Gold super-combined 2009 World Championships

Gold slalom 2004 World Championships

Silver giant slalom 2010 Paralympics

Silver slalom 2010 Paralympics

Bronze downhill 2002 Paralympics

Portrait: At the end of her successful career, this American-born Swiss citizen decided to switch nations to show her devotion to Switzerland and to her husband who is from the Valais region and also her personal trainer and all-round helper. This extraordinary athlete, who had both knees amputated following a car accident, is a multiple Paralympic medal winner.

Cross-country skiing

Luca Tavasci (Samedan, canton of Graubünden)


Date of birth: 21.09.1993

Occupation: Student

Classification: Standing (LW 8)

Impairment: Aplasia of the hand

Origin of impairment: Congenital

Portrait: Luca Tavasci is currently Switzerland's only para cross-country skier. The athlete, who was born with a deformity of the left hand, is competing in his first Paralympics. Whatever his result in PyeongChang, the mechanical engineering student intends to postpone his postgraduate studies to put all of his energy into his sport.