Today will be remembered as the day Team GB secured their first ever Paralympic Gold medal. Its been a long time coming, but it was definitely worth the wait. Kelly Gallagher and her guide Charlotte Evans won the historic medal in the Paralympic Super-G in Sochi, taking the lead by just over three tenths of a second ahead of Russia’s Aleksandra Frantceva.
Britain’s second medal of the day came from Jade Etherington and her guide Caroline Powell in the same event – A rare occasion for British fans – with the pair securing the bronze medal and their second of the Games. Saturday saw Etherington and Powell make history when they won Britain’s first ever Paralympic medal on snow with silver in the Downhill. And even though Etherington suffered a nasty crash in the finish, she was fortunately not injured and was able to make it to the flowering ceremony to celebrate her achievement.
Charlotte and Caroline are both ex-racers, so the knowledge and experience they are providing to the two women is invaluable. Both Jade (23) and Kelly (28) suffer from visual conditions that affect their sight, and so they compete in the visually impaired category with a guide (Charlotte and Caroline) skiing in front of them and communicating via a headpiece or through shouting. The pairs will both compete again on Tuesday (tomorrow) in the Super-Combined event. This entails two runs, one through a slalom course and the other down a Super-G, with both times being added together and the fastest combined time coming out on top.
Also in action tomorrow is sit-skiers Anna Turney and Mick Brennan in their respective Super-Combined event. So far Anna has posted a best result of 4th in today’s Super-G, just missing out on a medal, with Mick finishing in 10th in the men’s event.
The support for the two women and the rest of Team GB’s Paralympian’s has been fantastic so far, and fingers are crossed that these medals are just start in a record haul for Team GB in a Winter Paramlympics. For regular updates throughout the competitions in Sochi, follow @ParalympicsGB to ensure you never miss a beat.