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Thursday March 8, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

Another day, another medal for GB at the Paralympics as visually-impaired skier Menna Fitzpatrick and her guide Jen Kehoe take silver in the giant slalom. UPDATED


It's their third medal of the Games and their second silver in two days.

On Tuesday they were second in the Super Combined and matched that on Wednesday in the giant slalom.

They had already picked up a bronze in the Super G.

The GS gold was won by Slovakia's Henrietta Farkasova and her guide Natalia Subrtova, who continued their dominance in the women's VI events, taking their fourth gold of the Games.

Fitzpatrick, who's 19, said the race felt amazing.

Menna Fitzpatrick & Jen KehoeHappy pair talk to Channel 4

















"The feeling in your stomach is almost like a roller coaster, you leave your body behind at the start gate. That feeling is absolutely amazing.

"That second run was so much better. We reviewed the first run and there were a few sections where I was just a bit too hard on the edges which slowed us down a little.

"On that run I was going for it and sticking right behind Jen and making her do all the work for once!

"It just doesn't sink in, when we get to celebrate we'll have a chance to realise what we've done, our families have done all the celebrating for us so far.

"The next few days are recovery, that's the name of this game, we'll go for a swim, ice baths and physio and hopefully be relaxing as much as possible.

"It's taken a lot of time to recover from the downhill, to get back into the swing and things, but we've been able to really enjoy this.

"Now we're just going to give it all we've got because we've got nothing to lose, we are enjoying life!"

Jen Kehoe & Menna FitzpatrickJen Kehoe & Menna Fitzpatrick

















Jen Kehoe said the pair's second run was their best skiing of the week.

"Menna was confident, she was right behind me and when it's like that I'll just go and go and the results speak for themselves.

"We always have to work but when I'm feeling a little bit closer to my limits that's when I know we are doing well.

"If she's with me, I'm skiing hard and I love that.

"That felt close to our World Cup finals skiing, so when we send it, it all seems to gel together."

Britain's Kelly Gallagher and guide Gary Smith finished fifth with Millie Knight and Brett Wild - who have two silvers from the Games - seventh.

There's one race - the slalom - remaining.


Menna Fitzpatrick and Jen Kehoe produced two brilliant runs to add silver in the women's visually-impaired Super Combined in Pyeongchang  to the bronze they won in the Super G on Sunday.

The Super Combined involves a Super-G and a slalom.

Britain's Millie Knight and guide Brett Wild, who already have two silver medals from these Games,  finished just out of the medals in fourth.

The other GB team of Kelly Gallagher and Gary Smith were seventh.

Menna Fitzpatrick revealed a unique way of coping with the pressure after winning the silver.

"In the start gate just before we go out, when the nerves start increasing, I think about butterflies that are drinking tea while doing yoga," she said.

Silver Super Combined for Menna & JenSilver for Menna and Jen

Jen Kehoe explained that it came from three different techniques of calming yourself down.

"One is having butterflies fly around in your stomach, the next is the tea cup and thinking calm under pressure (t-cup) and the third is yogic breathing."

Millie Knight said she was disappointed not to get a medal.

"Fourth is definitely the hardest. Sitting third after the super-G was good, we were happy with that so it's difficult to drop, but it's still built on when I finished fifth in Sochi."

The GB skiers could yet increase their medal haul.

On Thursday it's the slalom.


Not only was it a triumph for Millie and Wild, but also GB's Menna Fitzpatrick and her guide, Jen Kehoe, took the bronze spot.

The GB medal tally now stands at three, with two days of competiton having taken place.

There is a target of between six and 12 medals, set  by UK Sport, with an ambition of at least seven.

The Super-G event at the weekend was won by Slovakia's Henrieta Farkasova and her guide, Natalia Subrtova.

"To get two silvers on day one and two is fantastic. I can't believe it has happened again," said Millie Knight to BBC Sport after the race.

Both Millie Knight and Menna Fitzpatrick have just 5% vision.

They communicate with their guides during their race via Bluetooth headsets.

Silver again!Silver again!


"I can't believe that this has happened again. It's amazing, it really is. I was quite nervous in the start gate today, a little bit more so than yesterday, but to get that result is fantastic," said Millie.

"Last night and this morning I was really relaxed, I think it really took a lot of pressure off so it meant that I slept really well and was in a really great place to race.

"But for some reason my head always gets a bit carried away and makes me nervous.

"I wasn't sure if it was good to be honest. Our coach had said that this run wasn't going to feel clean and so I came down and I didn't think it felt great.

"If I'd thought I would have two medals in two days at the Paralympics I would have said you are crazy. This time four years ago I was sat in the crowd watching Kelly (Gallagher) win gold and now I've made the podium myself."

Silver smiles once moreSilver smiles once more

"Millie expressed her nerves when we got to the bottom of the inspection and we had a little back and forth and I said 'you need to listen to what I'm saying because we have been through it so many times this season', said Brett.

"Millie has been nervous before but it won't affect our skiing at all and when she crossed the line she said you were right it wasn't bumpy at all!

"Because we are attached by headset I can just hear how she's feeling. I can tell from Millie's breathing if she's a bit nervous or anxious from being together for two years and she did brilliantly well today.

"It's really hard because when you come down first you have no idea because there's no one to judge it against.

"When we saw Menna and Jen come down and we were ahead of them we knew it was a good run because they beat us in every race this season. Then it was just a waiting game. It's amazing to be back on the podium today."
And what did Brett want to do when he was a young boy? ;-)

Dream fulfilledDream fulfilled

"To be honest I was just thinking about finishing and I am so happy that we have finished and it's amazing to win a bronze medal," said Meena Fitzpatrick.

"I came out the gate ready to fight, I was a little bit nervous but I overcame that and I just carried on and went for it.

"There were quite a few ridges that you really had to be strong on and power through those which threw me a tiny bit but I got it back on the next turn and just carried on." added Meena.

"After the downhill yesterday we just had a cup of tea and a chat with our sport psychologist who just helped us to think about all of the positives that we have had from this season and the success that we have had," said her guide Jen Kehoe.

"It was about knowing we can do it and just getting on the hill and doing it and not try and do anything clever or special.

"It's been amazing to get over that finish line and I can't tell you how happy I am to do that."

Defending Paralympic Champion Kelly Gallagher produced a solid run with her guide Gary Smith to finish in eighth place
Sochi 2014 super-G gold medallist Kelly Gallagher was reflective on her performance:
"I just need to ski like I've got nothing to lose and try to channel that. It didn't quite go to plan today but what did go to plan was the feeling of enjoyment and satisfaction of pushing out of the start gate, getting into the course and working together.
"There's three more races and we have a lot to work on. We can throw everything at it and the kitchen sink. We'll get good results from being relaxed and chilling out."


It was a fabulous start for Team GB that is aiming to win up to 12 medals at the Games in South Korea that have just got underway.

"I literally can't stop smiling. This is amazing, the year we have had to get here, it has been a struggle. I never really thought we'd be back in this position," said Millie after taking silver.

"This time last year I crashed at the finish line here and sustained really bad concussion and I really didn't think we'd get here.

"It is the best feeling in the world. I'm so chuffed. I was quite nervous at the start but the moment we pushed out it was just about what we had been working on.

"The course ran amazingly, the snow was perfect and it was just about making the tweaks that we wanted to make. 

"I just wait until I can hear what Brett's reaction is because I can't see the screen and when Brett said 'YES!' I knew it was good." 
Millie Knight and Brett Wild were 0.86 seconds behind Slovakia's Henrietta Farkasova who took gold with her guide, Natalia Subrtova.  

Belgium's Eleonor Sana and her guide, Chloe Sana, completed the podium with bronze. 

Millie and Brett celebrateMillie and Brett celebrate

The 18-year old from Canterbury has only 5% vision and is registered blind.

She is a firm favourite of ours at PlanetSKI.  

See here for a recent PlanetSKI article about Millie Knight when she came 2nd in the BBC's Young Sports Personality of the Year: "It's absolutely unbelievable, we've had a really challenging season but deep down I knew that if Millie skied the way she could I knew we could do this and even better," said her guide, Brett Wild. 

 "We've got another four races to go though, so let's keep pushing on," he added. 

The pair compete again in the Super G on Sunday.

Silver smiles photo c/o Nick HopeSilver smiles, photo c/o Nick Hope

The Downhill is one of the first events of the Games and followed the Opening Ceremony on Friday where the para snowboarder, Owen Pick, carried the flag for Team GB.

He served in Afghanistan with 1st Royal Anglian Regiment (Vikings) of the British Army.

The 26-year-old makes his Games debut in PyeongChang where he and teammates James Barnes-Miller and Ben Moore will become the first British athletes to compete in Para snowboard at theParalympic Games.

"I'm super happy to be nominated as flagbearer for ParalympicsGB and really proud," said Owen Pick.

"I once fought for my country under this flag and now I get to represent my country under the same flag."

"Being one of the first ever Paralympic snowboarders for GB is a huge deal for me because it's so important to see the sport I love represented at one of the biggest sporting events in the world. I can't wait to get out there and race."

The 35,000-seater stadium was about two-thirds full.

The crowd was entertained by traditional Korean dancing along with modern music and light shows.

Opening CeremonyOpening Ceremony















And the bright jackets of the GB team Wink

TeamGB at the ParalympicsTeamGB at the Paralympics




















Seventeen athletes are representing ParalympicsGB in a record five sports at PyeongChang 2018: para alpine skiing, para Nordic skiing, para snowboard and wheelchair curling.

Four years ago in Sochi, GB took home six medals, their highest tally for 30 years.

There was gold for Kelly Gallagher and guide Charlotte Evans in the super-G, a wheelchair curling bronze, plus fourskiing medals in the visually-impaired category for Jade Etherington, who retired after

the Games, and her guide Caroline Powell.

This time around the target is to win between six and 12 medals, with an ambition of at least seven.

Kelly Gallagher (guide Gary Smith), will compete in four out of the five alpine skiing disciplines.

Kelly Gallagher & Gary SmithKelly Gallagher & Gary Smith - photo Kelly Gallagher Facebook
















She will defend her super-G title, but is coming in off an injury-hit 2017.

At first she did not make the squad but was then selected as we reported:

She will be joined in the visually-impaired classification by teenagers Menna Fitzpatrick (guide Jennifer Kehoe) and Millie Knight (guide Brett Wild).

It will be the third Paralympics for 32-year-old Gallagher, who's an MBE. She made her debut at Vancouver in 2010.

Here at PlanetSKI we will be following the Games so do check back for our reports.

The event will feature 670 athletes competing for 80 medals across six sports.

48 countries are taking part, plus Russians competing under a neutral flag.

Those Russian athletes deemed to be clean by the International Paralympic Committee will be able to compete under a team known as Neutral Paralympic Athletes (NPA).

The Russian Paralympic Committee is suspended after a report found evidence of state-sponsored doping.

The PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games take place from March 9-18.

Let the Games beginLet the Games begin













Disability Snowsports UK, DSUK, has put together a list of what we should look out for:

Monday, 12 March - Day 3.

Medals to be decided: Para-snowboard: 5, Cross-country skiing: 4,

British interest (all times GMT),

03:00-06:00: Para-snowboard - snowboard cross [Owen Pick, Ben Moore, James Barnes-Miller],

05:35-08:00: Wheelchair curling [GB v Sweden],

10:35-13:00: Wheelchair curling [GB v Canada]

Tuesday, 13 March - Day 4.

Medals to be decided, Para-alpine skiing: 6, Biathlon: 6,

British interest (all times GMT)

01:00-03:35: Biathlon - men's 12.5km seated [Scott Meenagh],

01:30-04:00 & 05:00-07:30: Para-alpine skiing - men's and women's super combined [Millie Knight & Brett Wild, Menna Fitzpatrick & Jen Kehoe, Kelly Gallagher & Gary Smith, James Whitley, Chris Lloyd],

05:35-08:00: Wheelchair curling [GB v Slovakia],

10:35-13:00: Wheelchair curling [GB v NPA]

Wednesday, 14 March - Day 5.

Medals to be decided, Para-alpine skiing: 3, Cross-country skiing: 6

British interest (all times GMT),

00:30-03:30: Para-alpine skiing - men's slalom [James Whitley, Chris Lloyd],

00:35-03:00: Wheelchair curling [GB v Germany],

01:00-02:40 & 03:30-06:30: Cross-country skiing - sprint classic [Scott Meenagh],

05:35-08:00: Wheelchair curling [GB v USA]

Thursday, 15 March - Day 6.

Medals to be decided, Para-alpine skiing: 3,

British interest (all times GMT)

00:30-02:00 & 05:00-06:30: Para-alpine skiing - women's slalom [Millie Knight & Brett Wild, Menna Fitzpatrick & Jen Kehoe, Kelly Gallagher & Gary Smith],

00:35-03:00: Wheelchair curling [GB v South Korea]

10:35-13:00: Wheelchair curling [GB v China]

Friday, 16 March - Day 7.

Medals to be decided Para-snowboard: 5 Biathlon: 6

British interest (all times GMT)

00:35-03:30: Wheelchair curling tie-breakers (if needed),

01:00-03:05: Biathlon - men's 15km seated [Scott Meenagh],

03:00-06:00: Para-snowboard - banked slalom [Owen Pick, Ben Moore, James Barnes-Miller],

06:35-09:00: Wheelchair curling semi-finals.

Saturday, 17 March - Day 8.

Medals to be decided Para-alpine skiing: 3 Cross-country skiing: 6 Wheelchair curling: 1

British interest (all times GMT),

00:30-03:30 & 05:00-06:30: Para-alpine skiing - men's giant slalom [James Whitley, Chris Lloyd],

00:35-03:00: Wheelchair curling bronze medal game,

03:30-05:45: Cross-country skiing - men's 7.5km classic seated [Scott Meenagh],

05:35-08:25: Wheelchair curling gold medal match

Sunday, 18 March - Day 9.

Medals to be decided Para-alpine skiing: 3 Cross-country skiing: 2 Para-ice hockey: 1

British interest (all times GMT),

00:30-02:00 & 03:30-04:30: Para-alpine skiing - women's giant slalom [Millie Knight & Brett Wild, Menna Fitzpatrick & Jen Kehoe, Kelly Gallagher & Gary Smith],

11:00-12:20: Closing ceremony

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: No1 for ski news

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