The world’s best Paralympic athletes will gather in Beijing for the 13th Winter Games over the next two weeks and like the Winter Olympics, much of this year’s focus will shift to the rising stars looking to make their mark on history. Most of these rookie stars are first-timers and therefore are being watched with excitement, as some of them are expected to drive their respective sports in the future. We take a closer look at six rising young Para athletes to watch at the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games. We are coming! ❄️ #WinterParalympics #Beijing2022 pic.twitter.com/6KArwawSzq — Paralympic Games (@Paralympics) February 20, 2022 Huang Lingxin – cross-country skiing, China Cross-country skier Huang Lingxin will make his Paralympic debut at Beijing 2022. The 19-year-old from Yunnan province has trained in cross-country skiing for three years. Huang and his teammates have spent the past several months at the Baiyin national training base, a state-of-the-art facility situated in the stunning landscape of China’s Gansu province, where he has been putting the finishing touches to his preparations for the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympic Games. He said the ski track in Baiyin was very similar to the course he will compete on. Kyle Taulman, sitting-skiing, USA Kyle Taulman is just one of a number of inspirational athletes who will be making his Paralympic debut in Beijing. At age two doctors discovered a cancerous tumour that was wrapped around his spinal cord which left him paralysed. The Freeport, Illinois, native took up ski racing after his family relocated to Colorado and he has gone on to achieve great things in the world of sport. Recently, Taulman finished 12th in super-G at the final World Cup event in Sweden. During Covid-19, Taulman took up wheelchair tennis and competed at the 2021 collegiate championships. Playing tennis has been beneficial for Taulman’s skiing career, helping to build core strength and allowing him to be more dynamic in his movement and turns. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Kyle Taulman (@sitskier123) Katlyn Maddry, alpine skiing, USA The Beijing 2022 Paralympic Games will be a homecoming of sorts for 19-year-old skier Katlyn Maddry. Born in China, Maddry grew up in Wasilla, Alaska. She was diagnosed with fibular hemimelia at birth, which resulted in scoliosis. That led to her right leg being amputated when she was eight. Like many on this list, Maddry will make her debut in Beijing. Her best result was a fourth-place finish in dual-banked Slalom at this year’s World Championships. Geng Yanhong, snowboarding, China Geng Yanhong is the youngest athlete of the Chinese delegation. The 17-year-old will compete in the snowboard event where she brings considerable experience having competed at the World Para Snowboard in November last year where she placed a respectable fourth in the women’s slalom event. Geng is a member of the China national training team and spent her time preparing for the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games at a training base in Chongli District of Zhangjiakou, north China’s Hebei Province. Jesse Keefe, alpine skiing, USA At 17, Jesse Keefe is the youngest athlete on the US team. Having grown up in a passionate skiing family and an active ski town, Keefe found himself in skis at just two years of age. Keefe, who was born without an ankle bone in his right leg and had his foot amputated at 11 months old, joined the Sun Valley Ski Education race team when he was seven years old and never looked back. But even before that he was a keen competitor, having won his first race at just three years. His biggest sporting moment to date was winning the 2021 US National Giant Slalom, and finishing third in the super-G at the World Para Snow Sports Championships in Norway. Neil Simpson, alpine skiing, Great Britain Paralympic Games debutant Neil Simpson has skied since the age of four. Guided by his elder brother Andrew, the Scottish siblings head to China buoyed by a silver medal in the Super Combined at the recent World Championships. Visually-impaired, Simpson – who has Nystagmus, which causes involuntary eye movements – broke through in 2020, winning Slalom gold and Giant Slalom bronze at the Para Alpine World Cup. He would then go on to place third in the visually impaired giant slalom at the 2020 World Cup event in Slovenia, his first podium in the World Cup and Para alpine. Simpson was one of three athletes shortlisted for the 2020 BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year award.