After a record-breaking Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang for Team GB, our focus now switches to our Paralympians.

ParalympicsGB is a force to be reckoned with in any Paralympic Games, and after coming 10th in the Sochi 2014 medal table, the British Paralympic squad will be hoping for another strong result in the far east this March. In Sochi 5 out of 6 of ParalympicsGB's medals were won by on-snow athletes, so naturally many of ParalympicsGB’s major contenders will be ski and snowboard athletes. Find out more about our best national hopes for on snow glory.

ParalympicsGB’s historic Winter Paralympics performances

Last time out, all of ParalympicsGB’s on-snow medals were in alpine skiing disciplines.

Kelly Gallagher was a last-minute inclusion to the Paralympic Squad, but will no doubt be a very welcome addition. When Kelly crossed the Sochi Super-G finish line with her guide Charlotte Smith, she became the first British athlete to win an on-snow Gold medal at a Paralympic or Olympic Games. The 32-year-old visually impaired athlete was close to retiring after the feat, but headstrong Gallagher soldiered on, saying:

“It’s been a bumpy road and I have had moments when I thought, ‘It’s OK, mate, you can do something else now’ but something kept me going. I’m really pleased it did”

Kelly and current guide Gary Smith have had a rocky road leading up to Pyeongchang having struggled with form since a bad crash in training for the 2017 World Championships. Coming back to competition after a dislocated elbow and broken ribs is not easy. Unfortunately, Kelly and Gary did not start the season as they would have wanted but are confident they will be amongst the frontrunners in all events. The Sochi Super-G sensation will undoubtedly be one to watch in Pyeongchang.

Hoping to emulate Kelly’s success on the Olympic stage is Millie Knight and guide Brett Wild. The duo are no strangers to success after collecting 11 World Cup medals on their way to becoming Britain’s first Para Snowsports World Champions on 2017. The VIB2 skier will compete with her guide in multiple alpine events and is undoubtedly a serious medal contender in any race she enters.
Also competing in the VIB2 category is Menna Fitzpatrick with her guide Jennifer Kehoe. In both speed and technical disciplines, the pair show tremendous promise having won World Cup, World and National Championship podiums in the last 12 months.

It’s not just our female skiers you need to watch out for in Pyeongchang though. 
Matt Short was so inspired by the heroes of London 2012 that he decided to take up skiing again after winning two battles with cancer, one of which claimed his lower leg. The Briton, who races in the LW4 classification, manages to balance his career as a lawyer with a hectic competition schedule, we don’t know how he does it! Whatever it is, it seems to be working as this year he broke in to the top 20 at the World Championships.

Chris Lloyd has much to be hopeful for. After the 42-year-old LW9-1 athlete started competitive skiing following a car accident in 2011, he finally attained a top 10 in a World Cup this year, earning him a ticket to South Korea.

Whereas Matt and Chris are both relatively new to the para-snow competitive world, James Whitley has grown up as part of the British Disabled Ski Team since he was 10 years Old. At 17 he competed in his first Paralympics in Sochi and with four more years of experience, he is back for Pyeongchang. Having now finished school, James is now a full-time athlete and competes regularly at the highest level. He came 5th at last years World Championships in super combined but specialises in more technical events.

© Marcus Hartmann Photography. All rights reserved.

Snowboarders eye up Pyeongchang podiums

It’s not just on two planks that ParalympicsGB have reason to be hopeful. Within the Paralympic squad are three of the world’s best Para-snowboarders. Snowboarding was introduced in to the Paralympics in 2014 and returns this cycle with competitions in Snowboard Cross and Banked Slalom. This is the first time ParalympicsGB has fielded any snowboard athletes at a Paralympic Games, but there are still high hopes for the squad!

Benefiting from a childhood centred around board sports, James Barnes-Miller spent much of his formative years on a skateboard. After taking up snowboarding he has quickly risen through the rankings and is undoubtedly one of ParalympicsGB’s best medal contenders. Currently ranked 4th in the world for UL Boarder X and having previously placed well at prestigious events like X Games, James will be an intimidating presence for other competitors in the start gate.

ParalympicsGB’s flag-bearer, Owen Pick first took up competitive adaptive snowboarding in 2014, but has climbed through the ranks of the sport to become one of the top-rated snowboarders in the world. This year the former serviceman finished second at the World Championships in Big White, cementing his place amongst the world’s elite.

Another keen skateboarder, Ben Moore is no stranger to success and goes in to both Snowboard Cross and Banked Slalom as a favourite. The 31-year-old from Plymouth is the proud owner of three World Championships medals, one of which he won this year. Can he turn his recent from into golden success in Pyeongchang?

Paralympics GB return to Para-Nordic skiing

For the first time since Nagano in 1998 ParalympicsGB have a competitor in para-Nordic skiing, but until just before Sochi, Scott Meenagh had never even tried the sport. As part of the Paralympic Inspiration Programme, the Scot was lured away from competing on water as a para rower to racing on snow, making the full-time switch to para Nordic Ski in March 2016. 

Find out more about the ParalympicsGB athletes here