The flame went out on Sunday, so it’s time to take stock of the Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing. And for the Blues he is particularly good. Fourth in the final table, France therefore aims to “keep its rank, or even do better” in Milan in 2026, the French Paralympic and Sports Committee (CPSF) said on Sunday.
In total, the French athletes return with 12 medals, including 7 gold, won in para-alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding and biathlon. The challenge now is to maintain this level, despite the new place taken by China in winter parasports.
The French “a little taken aback” by China
“One of the major surprises at these Games is the overwhelming domination of China,” underlined Jean Minier, the head of mission of the French delegation in Beijing. “We were a bit taken aback.” China finished first in the ranking ahead of Ukraine and Canada. She won 61 medals, including 18 gold, notably in Nordic and Alpine, while she had won only one so far in five editions. “This is a lesson that we will have to remember for the future” because “they will undoubtedly continue their rise”, warns Jean Minier, also sports director of the CPSF.
“So we must not (for the France team) stop on the way, because the medals are winning today, they will undoubtedly be even more difficult to get in four years”. Jean Minier has however refused to display a target number of medals for the moment, citing the uncertainty surrounding the participation of Russian athletes.