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Heather Mills skis off with a silver in Winter Games
12:10pm Saturday 24th August 2013 in News
Heather Mills is celebrating a “dream come true” after scooping silver for Great Britain at the Winter Games in New Zealand.
The former wife of Sir Paul McCartney, who lost the lower half of her left leg in a collision with a police motorbike 20 years ago this month, won her silver medal in the women’s alpine slalom.
The thrilled snow queen, who has a home in Hove, said: “Skiing in New Zealand has been an amazing experience, and to top it off by leaving with silver in slalom is a dream come true.”
Remarkably Ms Mills, who is ranked 28th in the world in slalom, missed out on gold by less than ten seconds to Melanie Schwartz of Canada.
And her success at the Winter Games, an 11-day series of events for Olympic and Paralympic competitors, has significantly upped her chances of qualifying for the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Russia next March.
She added: “I hope watching the adaptive skiers has inspired anyone with one leg or two left feet to get up and go for that dream in the back of your head that your lazy butt stops you even trying.
“Achieving this at the age of 45 with only a few seasons of learning shows anything is possible, truly anything – and don’t let any of the ‘vampires’ tell you otherwise.”
It is only three years since her long-time skiing buddy Ruth Matthews encouraged Ms Mills back onto her skis for the first time since her accident.
She took up competitive skiing when she was spotted reaching speeds of more than 100km an hour skiing down a mountain.
Ms Matthews said: “I am so proud that Heather has won a silver in slalom as she is a novice compared to her competitors. It just shows anything is possible.”
Her coach John Clarke said the Winter Games have given Ms Mills “excellent opportunities” to gauge her slalom skills against a world-class field for the first time.
The one-time owner of Hove cafe V-bites, is now preparing to compete in two events at the 2013 Ipcas World Cup at Mount Hutt in New Zealand on Monday and Tuesday.
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