Good start for Brits in Paralympics

15th March 2010, by Chris Gill

Sit-ski competition  [Vancouver 2010]

Sit-ski competition [Vancouver 2010]

The Paralympic Games began in Vancouver at the weekend and British athletes have already put in good performances in the Alpine events.

The Games takes place from 12-22 March, with 12 members of the British Paralympic team competing in the various events.
Northern Ireland’s Kelly Gallagher got off to a good start in the women’s slalom, finishing in sixth place. Gallagher, who is visually impaired, is a newcomer to competitive skiing – skiing for less than two years. She put in a solid performance in the two runs to move into sixth position overall, in very challenging Whistler weather.  Gallagher also competes in Tuesday’s giant slalom, considered to be her stronger event.

Another British athlete, Anna Turney, achieved a sixth place in the sit-ski competition – won eventually by Austria’s Claudia Loesch.  And in the men’s event, Sean Rose came eighth. Rose hopes to better that in the speed events, and he has achieved some impressive finishes in pre-Games competitions.

As with the main Olympic games, the Canadian west coast weather was proving unpredictable: periods of light snowfall and poor visibility a constant challenge. Over on Cypress Mountain – where no Paralympic events are scheduled – the snow returned; the 30cm of powder was a welcome reminder of winter for the public after a rather warm and wet season so far. Pity it didn’t arrive for the Olympics last month …

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