Thomas Grochar, who was born with a disability in 1993, discovered skiing almost by accident. A native of Carinthia in Austria, Grochar had been a keen football player for many years, and had competed in high-profile competitions as a member of Klagenfurt’s sitting football team. Many of his teammates were also skiers, which sparked his interest in the sport.
Grochar was 12 when he first put on skis and 14 when he competed in his first race. Following initial successes on the youth team, he became a member of the Austrian National Ski Team during the 2011/2012 season.
After completing his apprenticeship as an O&P professional, Grochar decided to change careers and is now training to be a customs official at the Federal Ministry of Finance. The Ministry has its own sports team, and Grochar is delighted to be a member of it. Working for an employer that supports his athletic ambitions gives him the flexibility and stability that he needs as a member of the national team as well as long-term career prospects.
Key competitive achievements:
- 1st place in the slalom overall World Cup and 3rd place in the overall World Cup for the 2016/2017 season
- 4th place in the super combination (standing) at the Alpine Skiing World Championships 2015 in Canada
- Member of world champion team at the 2013 World Championships in La Molina
- 5th place in the slalom at his Paralympic debut at the Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympic Games
Sport: Paralympic skiing
Coach: Eric Digruber
Home team/club: ÖSV – Austrian Ski Federation
For sport: 3S80 and 1E90 for running and training
For everyday: Genium X3