Bourne skier Jade named in GB Paralympic team

Skier'28/12/11'6,Mountbatten Way, Bourne'Jade Etherington, with Euro Cup Trophies.
Skier'28/12/11'6,Mountbatten Way, Bourne'Jade Etherington, with Euro Cup Trophies.

Bourne’s partially-sighted alpine skier Jade Etherington has been selected to represent Great Britain in the Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympic Games.

Etherington, 22, was named as one of the British skiers by Paralympics GB today (Thursday).

Great Britain has never won a gold medal at the winter Paralympics and the visually impaired skiing in Sochi represents one of the best chances of coming top of the podium.

Etherington was named as just one of 15 athletes to represent Great Britain in the winter games.

She will be joined by alpine skiers Kelly Gallagher and Millie Knight.

Mick Brennan, Ben Sneesby and Anna Turney will compete in sit-skiing, and teenager James Whitley will represent Paralympics GB in the standing events.

The rest of Team GB will be made up of the wheelchair curling team of: Aileen Neilson, Tom Killin, Gregor Ewan, Rob McPherson and Angie Malone. Etherington competes in the slalom despite only having five percent of her vision.

She was born with Axenfield’s syndrome, a genetic condition that causes fluid blockages in the eye and can lead to total blindness.

She competes as part of a team with guide Caroline Powell, who skis in front of her to give radio directions.

The former Deepings School pupil has been preparing for the Games with The British Disabled Ski Team, winning medals around the world this season.

Etherington helped her chances of selection by winning more medals at the weekend.

Etherington and Powell were just one-hundredth of a second away from winning gold in the slalom race at the IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup at Copper Mountain, Colorado in the USA on Saturday.

The pair took silver, behind Russia’s Paralympic medal hopeful Alexandra Frantseva and guide Pavel Zabotin, to add to a bronze in the giant Slalom on Monday.

Last week UK Sport set a target of winning at least two medals from the Russia games and Etherington is amongst those most likely to deliver.

The winter Paralympics runs from March 7 to March 16 and will be televised by Channel 4.