By Zjan Shirinian

Helene Ripa has turned to mountain bike orienteering to hone her cross-country skills ©Getty ImagesSweden's Paralympic cross-country skiing gold medallist Helene Ripa is turning to the new sport of mountain bike orienteering to prepare for the 2015 International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Nordic Skiing World Championships.

The 43-year-old, who won the 15 kilometres event at Sochi 2014, has described the new sport as "crazy".

"I mainly do it for the fun of it but I also feel it can give me the motivation to keep fighting when I'm skiing," she said.

"It's a crazy new sport which combines both cycling and orienteering.

"It is a long way from skiing as you have to focus for a lot of the time on reading the map and the more tired you get the harder it gets to stay focussed but its good training for my fitness."

The Swede is planning to compete in the sprint and the 5km at the World Championships, which are being held in Cable in the American state of Wisconsin from January 22 to February 1.

Ripa said: "My main focus is to compete in all the classic events.

"In Cable I want to compete in the sprint and the 5km just like in Solleftea [2013 World Championships] but I am not sure whether or not I will be contending for the 15km freestyle."

The leg amputee, who also won mixed relay silver at Sochi 2014, will be among more than 150 athletes from 20 countries competing in Cable.