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GB pick first 2018 Winter Paralympics athletes

GB pick first 2018 Winter Paralympics athletes
skiing snowboarding

Great Britain have named the first nine athletes - including Millie Knight, Chris Lloyd and Owen Pick - to compete at the 2018 Winter Paralympics in Pyeongchang after announcing their squads for alpine skiing and snowboarding.

Reigning world champion Knight, who competed at Sochi in 2014 as a 14-year-old, and guide Brett Wild will compete along with Menna Fitzpatrick and her guide Jennifer Kehoe in the women’s visually impaired classification.

"I’m so happy to be selected to compete at my second Winter Paralympic Games for Great Britain," said Knight.

"Four years ago in Sochi was a really fantastic experience and I learned a lot, but competing in Pyeongchang has always been my main goal.

“Since Sochi I’ve been working really hard and have built a really strong partnership with my guide, Brett Wild. We know the competition will be tough in South Korea, but we’re excited for the games and look forward to the challenge ahead.”

Meanwhile, James Whitley also returns after making his Paralympic debut at Sochi 2014 in the men's standing skiing event while Chris Lloyd is poised to make his Games debut.

In the snowboarding,  which made its own Games debut in 2014 but without British representation, Pick, James Barnes-Miller and Ben Moore make history as the first GB athletes to compete at a Winter Paralympics.

World Championship silver medallist and military veteran Pick will compete in the events for athletes with lower-limb impairments while World Championship bronze medallist Ben Moore and James Barnes-Miller are both selected in the classification for athletes with upper-limb impairments.

“It’s awesome that my sport is getting the profile at the Paralympic Winter Games and I feel honoured to be among the first British athletes competing in snowboard," said Pick.

"It’s been a good season so far, we’re getting faster and challenging for medals and I can’t wait to get out to PyeongChang and race the best in the world.”

Sochi gold medalist Kelly Gallagher was a surprise omission from the team, although the 32-year-old and her guide could still make the trip to South Korea if any spare slots not taken by other nations are reallocated later this month.

GB Chef de Mission Penny Briscoe added: "It is very exciting to start the year by announcing the first athletes who will represent ParalympicsGB at PyeongChang 2018.

"Sochi 2014 was an historic Games for us, but the incredible performances of these athletes throughout this cycle shows that there is so much to look forward to when the Games begin in March, including the addition of snowboard as a new sport.”

Alpine Skiing

Millie Knight, 18, Canterbury

Brett Wild (guide), 25, Glasgow

Menna Fitzpatrick, 19, Macclesfield

Jennifer Kehoe (guide), 34, Salisbury

James Whitley, 20, Wilmington

Chris Lloyd, 43, Pontypridd

Snowboarding

Owen Pick, 26, Barton Mills

Ben Moore, 32, Plymouth

James Barnes-Miller, 28, Broadstairs