Winter Paralympics update: Great Britain win first medals

Following the awe-inspiring opening ceremony that got this year’s Winter Paralympics in Pyeongchang underway, the sporting action is now in full swing as Great Britain target between six and 12 medals.

With so many medals up for grabs before the Games comes to its conclusion on Friday, here at Champions Olympic Speakers we have provided a rundown of the biggest stories from the Games so far.

Paralympic Skier

Millie Knight and Brett Wild win Britain’s first medal

The opening day of the Games saw Great Britain medal, with Millie Knight and Brett Wild winning a silver medal in the women’s visually impaired downhill event. The current world champions finished just 0.86 seconds behind Slovakian duo and the defending Paralympic champions Henrieta Farkasova and Natalia Subrtova.

Despite being just 19 years old, Millie is competing at her second Winter Paralympics, with her guide Brett appearing at his first. Four years ago, Millie who has just 5% vision, was the youngest Team GB member aged 15. Fellow British skier Menna Fitzpatrick crashed out of the event but was fortunately uninjured.

Team GB skiers successful in Women’s Super G

Britain took silver and bronze medals in the women’s super G event for the visually impaired adding another two medals to Team GB’s haul so far. Millie Knight and Brett Wild achieved their second silver medals of the Games, with the bronze going to fellow Brits Menna Fitzpatrick and Jen Kehoe.

As with the downhill, the event was won by Slovakian duo Henrieta Farkasova and Natalia Subrtova and Brits Kelly Gallagher and Kelly Smith finished eighth. Millie Knight discussed their silver medal saying: “This time four years ago I was sitting in the crowd watching Kelly win gold and I thought if one day I could be that good it would be amazing. To get two silvers on day one and two is fantastic. I can’t believe it has happened again.”

Britain to miss out on snowboard medal but curlers are victorious

All of Great Britain’s snowboarders have missed out on the chance of winning a medal in the snowboard cross event after crashing out in the qualifiers. However, the event was marked with controversy following problems with the electronic gate system not opening when it should. After a lengthy delay, it was decided that a manual start would be used, using rubber bands and a rope in a bungee style system.

James Barnes-Miller, Owen Pick and Ben Moore were all eliminated from the event but will take par in Friday’s banked slalom. Whilst the snowboarders may not have seen success, Team GB’s wheelchair curlers made it three wins out of four after defeating Sweden 6-1. They have also beat Finland 9-2, Norway 5-2 and losing 7-4 to Switzerland.

USA leads the way on the medal table

At this stage of the Games, the USA find themselves top of the medal table with a total of nine medals, four of which have been golds. All of these medals have come in skiing events with Daniel Cnossen and Kendall Gretsch winning gold in biathlon, Andrew Kurka in alpine skiing and Gretsch also winning a gold in cross-country skiing.

As well as this they qualified top of their group in the para-ice hockey event, winning 10-0 against both Japan and Czech Republic and will go into the semi-finals as one of the favourites to win another medal.

With plenty of action still to take place before this weekend’s closing ceremony, be sure to keep an eye on Champions Olympic Speakers for the latest news on the Games. For more information on booking an Olympic or Paralympic speaker for your next event, get in touch by calling 01509 85 29 27 or complete the online form and a member of our team will get back to you.