SKIER CHARLIE IS AIMING FOR TOP
4 May 2018 09:48
A STOCKPORT skier is hoping to represent Britain at a future Paralympic Games after winning a silver medal on his debut at the British Parasnowsport Championships.
Charlie Muston, 15, of Heaton Moor, who is a pupil at The Manchester Grammar School (MGS), was chosen to fly out to Tignes in south-east France, and competed on a racecourse used during the 1992 Paralympic Winter Games, and which has been at the forefront of accessibility for Para skiers ever since.
Alpine skier Charlie, who has a visual impairment, was also given the opportunity of a lifetime as his guide for the race was Jennifer Kehoe, who guided Welsh Paralympic star and gold medallist at the 2018 Winter Paralympics Menna Fitzpatrick, who Charlie also used to train alongside.
That was a surprise for Charlie, who met Jennifer and Menna by chance in the resort restaurant on the first day and Jennifer offered to guide him. And despite only having a few practice runs to get used to skiing together, the duo did amazingly well and Charlie won a silver medal in the Men’s VI Slalom race.
His achievement was made even more incredible by the fact he had never skied in a mountain race before, having only previously raced indoors on 15-gate runs, rather than the 30-gate run on a steep mountain Charlie and Jennifer tackled in Tignes.
The race took place before a panel of Paralympic assessors, and Charlie is now working towards his goal of flying the flag for Britain at a future Paralympic Games.
Charlie said: “We came away with a silver medal while skiing against experienced British VI athletes who ski on the International Ski Federation (FIS) circuit, so we were blown away.
“It was an amazing opportunity and I hope to compete at the Brits again next year. I plan to go for classification at some point so I can hopefully classify to race on the FIS circuit or even at the Paralympic Games in the future.”
Charlie started skiing about five years ago, and has already competed in national championship competitions, training hard at least twice a week to hone his skills.
He trains at the Chill Factore in Trafford and is also sponsored by them.
Charlie’s MGS Form Tutor Mark Facchini said: “Charlie is an absolutely brilliant young man and this was a great experience for him to ski a mountain race guided by a Paralympian. He did fantastically well and everyone at MGS is so proud of him. Hopefully he can now achieve his dream of representing Britain at a future Paralympic Games.”
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