Paralympic skier Kelly Gallagher has had a pretty hectic couple of months.
Fifteen race starts in 28 days to be exact and three Gold medals at the World Cup in Canada alongside her guide Charlotte Evans. She also lifted four medals at the recent World Skiing championships. Fair to say then that preparation couldn’t have gone better for these Games.
I caught up with the County Down woman at the Sports Institute at Jordanstown. She seemed relaxed but knows that the hard work is still ahead of her.
“I’m pretty excited now but Charlotte and I still have work to do to keep fresh and agile and to work well on our technique. Racing this past month has helped us see where we can improve. It was a big block of racing and it was pretty intense for our mind and body.”
Kelly competed at the 2010 Games in Vancouver but it’s a first outing for Charlotte in Russia. The pair have competed together since 2011. The media interest in the girls has risen to new heights in the past few weeks and they talk about each other constantly in interviews.
“Mentionitis we call it! We spend so much time together and are in each other’s pockets! We’re always focussed on going out every day and doing the best we can. As for how we’ll do? Results will take care of themselves. As long as we feel we’ve given it one hundred per cent.”
Kelly is delighted that Paralympic sport is in the spotlight and hopes her success will inspire other visually impaired athletes to venture into sport.
“I’ve had such great support and I’m lucky to be doing what I love full-time. I am ready for this. There’s no one else I’d rather ski with than Charlotte.”
Kelly is due back on the snow on 10th February and flies out to Sochi later this month. If recent form is anything to go by, we can expect to see her and Charlotte on the podium for Team GB.