Para alpine skiers Mille Knight, Menna Fitzpatrick, James Whitley and Chris Lloyd will fly the flag for Great Britain at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Paralympic Games having been selected to represent ParalympicsGB in March. The four athletes, all of whom have been supported by SportsAid, are among the first set of squad members announced today.
Reigning downhill world champion Millie, 18, is set to compete in the women’s visually impaired classification alongside her guide Brett Wild. She has been a beneficiary of SportsAid’s help over a number of years and attended the charity’s annual SportsBall prior to Christmas. The PyeongChang Games will be Millie’s second Paralympics after two fifth-placed finishes in Sochi at just 15-years-old.
“I’m so happy to be selected to compete at my second Winter Paralympic Games for Great Britain,” said Millie – who was the flagbearer for ParalympicsGB at the opening ceremony in the Fisht Olympic Stadium back in 2014. “Four years ago in Sochi was a really fantastic experience and I learned a lot, but competing in Pyeongchang has always been my main goal.
“Since Sochi I’ve been working really hard and have built a strong partnership with my guide, Brett Wild. We know the competition will be tough in South Korea, but we’re excited for the games and look forward to the challenge ahead. It’s awesome that my sport is getting the profile at the Paralympic Winter Games and I feel honoured to be among the first British athletes competing in snowboard."
Menna Fitzpatrick, 19, with her guide Jennifer Kehoe, will also compete in the women’s visually impaired classification. She received a SportsAid award shortly after the Sochi Games with her own aspirations of reaching South Korea. Menna and Jennie became the first Brits to win the overall VI World Cup title in 2016. They also finished 2017 with four medals at the first World Cup of the season.
Skier James, 20, who was supported by SportsAid between 2009 and 2014, returns after making his Paralympic debut in Sochi. He recorded a seventh-placed slalom finish at last year’s World Championships. Chris, 43, had help from SportsAid in 2014 and is set for his Games debut after gaining valuable experience with the Paralympic Inspiration Programme in Russia four years ago.
Penny Briscoe OBE, Chef de Mission for ParalympicsGB, said: “It is very exciting to start the year by announcing the first athletes who will represent ParalympicsGB at PyeongChang 2018. Sochi 2014 was an historic Games for us, but the incredible performances of these athletes throughout this cycle shows that there is so much to look forward to when the Games begin in March.”