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Fast and furious: Jan Zabystran wins third alpine medal

Winter Games 19 January 2023

The achievements seem never ending for Czech alpine skier Jan Zabystran, who on Wednesday won his third medal of the Lake Placid 2023 FISU University Games.

Zabystran captured gold in the men’s giant slalom thanks to a time of 2:01.23 at Whiteface Mountain, adding to a first triumph in the Super-G on Saturday and bronze in the alpine combined on Monday.

Eric Wyler of Switzerland (2:02.57) and Jeremie Lagier of France (2:02.93) completed the podium.

“Three medals in the last three races, I’m super excited about that,” said the smiling winner.

“Today the conditions weren’t the best. It was windy, raining and cold. I think everybody had something bad in their runs. I tried to make as little mistakes as I could and took some speed to the flat part, and I think that was the most important thing.”

At the FISU Games, not only sport performances are rewarded, but the efforts to carry out this double career of athletics and studies are also recognized.

“I try to focus on my skiing during the winter and the most important things about my studies like exams. Everything else that’s not so urgent I’m putting to spring and summer,” said Zabystran. But sometimes it’s difficult, last year I spent two months just doing everything that I missed.”

Combined responsibilities are a hard task that all athletes have to deal with.

“I’m really happy that I can do it like this, because in winter you can do what you love: skiing and see the world. Of course, it’s hard, but the experiences that are lived are amazing.”

“Being focused only on skiing is a little bit of a break. But with the school your mind is also busy with other things, and that, somehow, helps you a lot with your sport,” concluded the triple medallist.

Such is the way of life for all the athletes at FISU Games. Several giant slalom competitors concurred with Zabystran.

“The time management becomes really a big player in your life,” said Canadian Dawson Yates, who is studying marketing and is going to graduate next year.

“My normal days are built around training. It starts with skiing and then I focus on the studies,” added the 16th-place finishers.

“I come from Austria, but I went to Alaska to study in the US,” explained Jan Ronner, a University of Alaska Anchorage, who ended in 14th position. “The most that I enjoy there is the whole experience with college students, that’s pretty cool.”

The next medal event in alpine skiing, the Mixed Team Parallel, will take place on Thursday.

Written by Julia Boschiazzo, FISU Young Reporter

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