"My older brother is now an excellent middle-distance competitor. We used to go skiing together and I always wanted to follow him everywhere down the runs. My parents encouraged me to follow the same route, and they have always tried to put me with able-bodied skiers. The difference between them and me has always been a vector of motivation, as I always saw it as my progression objective."
Théo Gmür is a parasport skier born on the 8th of August 1996 (1m72, 70 kg). He comes from Haute-Nendaz in Switzerland, a ski resort tucked in the heart of the Swiss Alps in the Canton of Valais. This young prodigy tried his first pair of skis when he was only three years old. Wanting to follow in his older brother’s footsteps he began to enjoy taking part in ski races. In fact, on the ski runs he takes his brother Thomas, who had opted to follow sport studies in the USA, as an example.
Paralyzed down the right side of his body since he was two years old following a cerebrovascular accident (a major stroke), Théo Gmür achieves, therefore, each day, an exceptional sporting performance while dealing with a handicap which deprives him of a great amount of balance, strength and coordination between his upper and lower body. This young athlete, who continues to pursue his apprenticeship among other able-bodied competitors is a true example of self-sacrifice. Since he was little, he has trained non-stop inspired by his heroes Franz Klammer and Henrik Kritoffersen and joined Swiss Paralympic in 2013. " Whenever something unexpected happens, I have to recuperate everything with my left side, which then tires much more quickly."
In 2018, his Korean Olympic super-G illustrates this perfectly: at a few gates from the end of the race, in a right-hand turn, the boy from Nendaz almost fell, but he managed to recuperate thanks to the strength of his inside left leg. The numerous uncertainties throughout his life have never weakened his determination: he suffers two operations, one on his wrist and the other on his ankle in order to improve his day to day life and also to avoid his muscle tone from shrinking. The pain and the rehabilitation could have sapped his motivation. But instead it was the opposite. He really wanted to make the most of these surgical interventions to strengthen his physical condition and was absolutely convinced that it would give him an even bigger chance to achieve more on his skis.
And he was right, because his career took off in the beginning of 2017, when he won the silver medal in the World Championships in Tarvisio on the 30th of January. This young man who is presently following his studies in marketing at the ‘Haute école fédérale de sport’ of Macolin at the same time, has also been nominated as the « Best Newcomer Swiss Paralympic » of the year. "It’s every athlete’s dream come true to be able to access this kind of structure. We study in small groups, there are only very strong sportsmen/women and the atmosphere is perfect. All the equipment necessary for our physical preparation is on site, and the school is extremely flexible.
The season 2017/18 is to become one of all achievements for Théo Gmür. He brilliantly wins the overall Christal Globe as well as the one for the giant slalom. He is also the winner of 3 different disciplines during the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in Korea. This significant sporting prowess allowed him to return to Switzerland with three gold medals around his neck and to look forward to his sporting future with serenity.
This young man from the Valais’ objective is to renew his success in the World Championships of both 2019 and 2021. He also hopes to defend his incredible triple gold medals during the Winter Olympics of Pekin which take place in 2022.