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Chatham skier Charlotte Evans back home after winning gold at Winter Paralympics in Sochi with Kelly Gallagher

21 March 2014
by Chris Hunter

The gold medallist was back at home this week after her triumph guiding skier Kelly Gallagher to a gold medal in Sochi, but laughed off the idea that anything should be painted gold in her honour.

“I haven’t really thought about this,” she laughed. “Anything they want to paint gold, they can totally paint gold.”

Charlotte Evans relaxes at her Chatham home

Charlotte Evans relaxes at her Chatham home

The 22-year-old skier and her partner claimed first place – and Great Britain’s first ever skiing gold – in the visually impaired super-G downhill, bouncing back from a disappointing start with a winning time of 28.72 seconds.

They had been hoping to win another medal on the final day of the Paralympic Winter Games, but crashed out of the women’s giant slalom after Gallagher’s ski came off on the first run down the course.

Since then the duo have been thrown into a whirlwind of media attention and were facing a busy schedule of interviews on their return home this week including an appearance on The One Show on Wednesday.

“It’s been pretty crazy,” said Charlotte, who used to train at Chatham Ski Centre.

“We landed in Heathrow and were welcomed by an array of people.

“It was so nice to see the support.

“It’s finally starting to sink in. We’ve had our medals locked away for the whole week whilst we’ve been competing so it was really nice to be able to wear it and have it throughout the day.

“We’ve been to Downing Street, we’ve done radio, we’ve pretty much done everything possible. It’s been a really great way to end our games.”

Medway's Charlotte Evans in action on the slopes

Medway's Charlotte Evans in action on the slopes


But none of this would have happened if the pair hadn’t managed to turn around a dire situation mid way through the super-G.

“It was a really tough day if I’m honest,” said Charlotte.

“We’d done really badly in the downhill and it was not a result we were expecting so we had to pick ourselves up.”

The former Rochester Grammar School pupil, who became involved in coaching after suffering a knee injury which jeopardised her career, knows all about fighting back.

“I had a go at Kelly and made her realise why she’s here,” she said.

“We just didn’t know why we’d had such a bad day and to come back fighting the next day for that gold – it was pretty amazing.

Charlotte Evans (right), who is guide to Kelly Gallagher

Charlotte Evans (right), who is guide to Kelly Gallagher

She thanked her family and everyone who had offered their support along the way.

“I think it’s great for the people of Medway to be able to be involved in the journey with us – to have this moment and share it with all of them. 

Should Charlotte be honoured with a gold bus like Winter Olympic champion Lizzie Yarnold?

“It was definitely their support that kept us going and made us realise that we love the sport we’re in.

“So thank you.”

And while she might not get a gold bus, she will get something almost as good – she’s been invited to tea with the Mayor of Medway Cllr Josie Iles.




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