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Britain wins gold at the Paralympics
Thursday March 6, 2014 - Email this article to a friend

Kelly Gallagher has won GBs first ever gold at the Winter Paralympics with a win in the visually impaired super-G in Sochi. It follows a silver for GB on Saturday.

First posted Monday March 10, 2014 - updated March 15th, 2014.

The 28-year-old from Bangor in County Down and her guide, Charlotte Evans, have made paralympic history for Great Britain.

Kelly Gallagher clocked a time of 1 minute 28.72 seconds.

"It was nerve-wracking but I'm delighted with the result," Gallagher told BBC Sport.

"Normally when we compete, even in big events like World Championships, there is nobody interested in what we are doing," said Gallagher to the BBC.

"But here there has been a lot of hype and pressure, as well as expectation, and maybe we let some of that in. Today we just decided to ski and see what happens. I have to thank Charlotte for getting me to the line. We just threw ourselves at it. I prayed for the strength to ski and have fun," she added.














The Downhill silver medallist from Saturday, Jade Etherington, came away with bronze.

Etherington won a silver medal silver in the women's visually impaired downhill on Saturday where Kelly Gallagher, came 6th.

"I am delighted with the silver medal, I don't think it's sunk in yet," Etherington told BBC Sport after her performance.

"We knew going down that it was a solid run, despite my little jump and crash at the end, but that's all fine and I'm really happy to get down and glad to have that confidence boost for the rest of the competition."

She was born with Axenfield's syndrome, a genetic condition that causes fluid blockages in the eye and can lead to total blindness.

Her eyesight has gradually deteriorated and she now has only five per cent of vision.

Go Jade!Go Jade!









She first tried skiing during a family holiday and is sponsored by the company that first took her, Snowbizz.

"Snowbizz is a great company and has supported me from the beginning where I learnt to ski when I was eight and throughout my trials for the development team and now onto the World Class programme," said Jade Etherington.

Families who have been on holiday with Snowbizz this winter are wishing her well.

Snowbizz kids cheer for JadeSnowbizz kids cheer for Jade












The men's curling team has also been in action but was defeated by Canada in its first match.

It lost 6-3.

President Putin opened the Games on Friday though the event has been somewhat over-shadowed by the Russian takeover of Crimea in the Ukraine.

British government officials and Prince Edward are not attending the Paralympics. Other western government officials also cancelled all plans to attend.

We reported on the political developments here on PlanetSKI.

However with the Games starting here at PlanetSKI we hope to concentrate on the sporting performances rather than political and military issues.

Team GB has 15 athletes at the Games and we have some other realistic medal chances.

15-year old skier, Millie Knight, carried the flag at the Opening Ceremony.

"This is the best feeling ever! I'm so excited, I can't wait to carry the flag at the Opening Ceremony and I'm honoured to be out there representing ParalympicsGB alongside all of the other nations," said Millie Knight after she was told.

"This was such a surprise but I'll try and make the team proud. I was really excited just to be competing in Sochi and to be going to the Opening Ceremony so it just keeps getting better and better," she added.

She was joined in the stadium by her fellow skiers, Ben Sneesby and James Whitley.

The rest of the team were preparing for their sporting events.

"Millie is a very talented athlete and an exciting prospect for the future," said Paralympics GB chef de mission, Penny Briscoe. "She is the perfect representative for the team on this occasion."

Flying the flagFlying the flag











Check out the video below of the GB Team.


"The athletes are the best prepared they have ever been and this is down to the hard work and dedication of the coaching staff and support team over the last four years. We are especially proud to be sending so many young athletes to these Games," said James Redpath from the British Disabled Ski Team.

"Five of the seven alpine skiers have come through the ranks of the Development Squads, a fact that reflects the hard work that has been put in to provide a pathway for new athletes to start and progress in their sport."

For a full look at all the GB athletes taking part then see this story on the BBC.  As well as the skiers we have teams in wheelchair curling

For a look at the international medal hopefuls then see here.

The political and situation in Russia will be monitored throughout The Games but the chief executive of ParalympicsGB, Tim Hollingsworth, says the athletes are safe at The Games.

He will take advice from the British Foreign Office should the situation change.

GB Team arrive in SochiGB Team arrive in Sochi













In the UK, Channel 4 will be broadcasting 50 hours of live coverage of all the events with hundreds more being available on-line.

Channel 4 also has a dedicated website where you can follow all the action.

For more information on the ParalympicsGB team then see here.

For the spirit of the mountains

Related Articles

Another Sochi athlete banned for doping (Saturday April 26, 2014)
Two Sochi athletes took drugs (Thursday April 17, 2014)
Sochi reveals profit of £85m (Wednesday April 9, 2014)
Sochi stars celebrate (Thursday March 20, 2014)
Etherington wins third silver at Paralympics (Friday March 14, 2014)
President Putin to attend opening ceremony of Paralympics (Thursday March 6, 2014)

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