Paralympic ski star Millie Knight took on the best in the world and returned triumphant

Published 11 February 2017

Millie Knight 2014 Getty Images

With the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Paralympics just over a year away, the future couldn't be much brighter for Britain’s visually impaired alpine ski star and medal machine Millie Knight.

Alongside guide Brett Wild, Knight won Britain's first-ever World Para skiing title with a spectacular downhill gold at last month’s World Para Alpine Skiing Championships in Italy.

The victory was the highlight of a phenomenal World Championships for the 18 year old from Canterbury that saw her claim a total of four medals at the event – three silvers followed her gold medal triumph – as she firmly established herself as the one to watch in PyeongChang.

It wasn’t bad at all given Millie had taken time out from school to compete at the event and had to return straight afterwards.

“Due to the World Championships, I hadn’t been to school for two months,” Millie explained.

“It felt very strange coming back with my four medals but everyone at school was absolutely amazing and it has all bit a bit mad since my return.

“Looking back to Italy, it feels unbelievable that I won four medals at the World Championships.

“I was just thinking about going out there and doing my best and I wasn’t evening thinking about medals.

“When I won the gold medal I was completely chuffed so to have come away at the end of the event with four medals is unbelievable and I am over the moon.

“It feels even more amazing because four months ago I was very ill and I wasn’t event thinking about going to the World Championships, let alone ending up on the podium four times.”

Her triumphs in Italy mark another unbelievable chapter for Millie, who had lost most of her vision by the age of six having contracted toxocariasis as a baby.

At just 15, she went to the Sochi 2014 Games as Britain’s youngest ever Winter Paralympian.

She was the ParalympicsGB flag bearer at the opening ceremony and impressively secured two fifth place finishes. But it was always the 2018 Winter Paralympics where she would be targeting the podium and she is already excited about PyeongChang.

“We have got the test event coming up soon in PyeongChang so it will be great to be out there and get used to the conditions,” she said.

“It would be great to achieve more success and the goal is obviously medals but I am really just focusing on doing my best.

“I believe that if I give it my best, the results will take care of themselves.”

Millie leads an exciting line up of Para alpine skiers who are all part of British Parasnowsport.

Also on the team is Menna Fitzpatrick, who won bronze in the giant slalom at the World Championships with her guide Jennifer Kehoe, and reigning Paralympic champion Kelly Gallagher.

Gallagher missed the World Championships through injury but should be fully fit ahead of the 2018 Paralympic and will be hopeful of replicating her Super-G triumph from Sochi 2014 where she took gold alongside guide Charlotte Evans.

“The girls we have in Britain are so strong now,” Millie said.

“I see them all the time and train with them so I am training with the best in the world.

“I feel like if I can best them in training, I can beat anyone in the world because that is how high the standard is and it is very exciting for all of us.” 

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