ParalympicsGB are heading to the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Paralympic Games looking to eclipse the six medals they won in Sochi four years ago. Reigning Paralympic champion and SportsAid alumna Kelly Gallagher is among a 17-strong squad targeting a minimum of seven podium finishes set by UK Sport. Seven previous SportsAid beneficiaries will be competing in South Korea including teenage para alpine skiers Millie Knight and Menna Fitzpatrick.
The Winter Paralympics begin on March 9 and will feature British athletes competing across five sports – para alpine skiing, para snowboard, para Nordic skiing (biathlon and cross-country) and wheelchair curling. Kelly, who became the country’s first ever Paralympic gold medallist in Russia, will be aiming to retain her title in the Super-G competition with her guide Gary Smith.
Millie made history in Sochi as the youngest ever ParalympicsGB competitor at any Winter Paralympics. She was just 15-years-old and acted as flag-bearer at the Opening Ceremony. She finished fifth in the slalom and giant slalom so will be looking to use her previous experience to push her into medal contention having won gold and three silvers at last year’s World Championships.
“Sochi was a really fantastic experience and I learned a lot, but competing in Pyeongchang has always been my main goal,” said Millie. “Since Sochi I’ve been working really hard and have built a really 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.”
Brett Wild will be Millie’s guide while Menna Fitzpatrick, who is taking part in her first Paralympics, is supported by Jennifer Kehoe. They are serious medal contenders with Menna winning two golds and a silver at the recent World Cup meet in Canada. There will also be Paralympics debuts for Nordic skier Scott Meenagh, a former para rower, and para alpine skier Chris Lloyd – both SportsAid alumni.
“It’s an incredible feeling to know my name is on the team sheet and that I’m set to achieve my goal of representing Great Britain at a Paralympic Games,” said Scott. “I can’t wait to compete and I’m determined to give my best performance. I’ve fallen in love with this sport and I hope that I will encourage others to follow me so that we can develop Para Nordic skiing further for Beijing 2022.”
Wheelchair curler Aileen Neilson, who is a previous recipient of help from the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS), is getting set to represent ParalympicsGB at her third consecutive Games having won bronze skippering the team in Sochi. SportsAid alumnus and para alpine skier James Whitley will also return after making his first Paralympics appearance in 2014.
Here’s the list of SportsAid athletes who will be competing at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Paralympic Games....
Supported by SportsAid - Doris Dibden (2014)
Supported by SportsAid - Doris Dibden (2009, 2010, 2011, 2013), RBC (2014)
Supported by SportsAid - ASDA (2010)
Supported by SportsAid - SportsAid (2014), TASS (2014/15, 2015/16)
Supported by SportsAid - Kent County Council (2014)
Supported by SportsAid - SSE (2015)
Supported by SportsAid - TASS (2006/07, 2007/08)