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Canterbury skier Millie Knight looking forward to giant slalom at Sochi Winter Paralympics after incredible debut performance

13 March 2014
by Alex Hoad

Millie Knight (left) with guide Rachael Ferrier

Millie Knight (left) with guide Rachael Ferrier

Millie Knight hopes she can improve on her Paralympic debut when she takes to the Sochi slopes in her strongest event on Sunday.

The Canterbury schoolgirl, the youngest ever British winter Paralympian, recorded a fifth-placed finish in the visually impaired slalom, her first race at the Sochi games in Russia on Wednesday morning, a result which exceeded her pre-race expectations.

It continued a week to remember for the King’s School pupil, who only turned 15 in January, after she was chosen to carry the Union Flag during the opening ceremony on Friday.

Knight and guide Rachael Ferrier, 18, stopped the clock in 1.09.87 on the first run – nine seconds behind ParalympicsGB team-mate and leader Jade Etherington – in a race brought forward two days due to weather conditions.

A solid second run three hours later was completed in a time of 1.08.90 to see Knight improve to fifth overall in a 10-strong field, although Etherington was pipped to gold by Russia’s Aleksandra Frantceva by just 0.65secs.

Knight said: “It was incredible, absolutely incredible. I normally get nervous for races but I was just excited for this one. 

“The night before I was nervous but at the start gate I was just excited. I couldn’t wait to get down the hill and enjoyed both runs.”

She added: “Our original goal was to get down and not come last. After the first run, we had a bet with our coach Euan Bennet that if we came in the top five, he would shave off his beard. We managed to do that, so that beard is going, I don’t think he will be pleased.”

Knight and Ferrier will line up for the giant slalom early on Sunday morning (GMT) and Knight admitted: “It is my favourite discipline, so I’m looking forward to that.

“It is our stronger discipline so we are excited but our goals are the same. We just want to get down and not come last.”

GCSE student Knight was chosen to carry the GB flag at the opening ceremony last Friday.


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