This is always a great event and very much a must do if you have never been before.
This year the speaker was the amazing Anna Turney, the Paralympic ski racer, and after an extremely good dinner in the wonderful setting of the Main Hall, Leah Lewis, who is in charge of community funding at Wheelpower interviewed Anna, who told us all about her incredible story.
Anna had an accident on the slopes in Japan which resulted in a broken back.
In the dark days that followed she thought she would never participate in the sport again, but determined not to be defeated, Anna decided to become a Paralympic ski racer.
Once out of hospital she went back on the slopes and after only three years training, Anna came 6th in the 2010 Vancouver Paralympics.
Four years later she finished 4th, 6th and 8th in Britain’s most successful Winter Paralympic Team in the 2014 Sochi Paralympics.
She said she was disappointed to come home without a Paralympic medal, however, to be part of an acclaimed team, to achieve Britain’s best result ever in Female Sitting Alpine Skiing, and have the chance to showcase disability sport in the most widely broadcast Winter Paralympic Games ever, is something in which she was very proud.
She said “Winning World Cup medals and competing in two Paralympics was a huge personal achievement.
Paralympic ski racers compete in the same disciplines as Olympic ski racers – the same runs and the same courses, the only difference is, I do it without the use of my legs.”
“My journey from snowboarder to racing on the Olympic men’s downhill in Sochi at 65mph, via a few hospital beds, has been a roller coaster ride and it certainly hasn’t been easy.
Whilst my friends have been building careers, going on holiday, buying houses, I’ve been maxing out credit cards for my sport.
Nevertheless, representing Great Britain was worth every blizzard, every sore muscle, every hour in the gym and months spent away from my husband.
I feel incredibly fortunate to have been able to seize the opportunities I have been given. None of it would have been possible without my family and my supporters – What a ride !”
She now uses her experiences to motivate businesses through talks and workshops, as well as speaking to schools to inspire the children; she also mentors talented athletes on the sport.
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