Millie Knight and guide Brett Wild took downhill silver on the opening day of the Paralympics in Pyeongchang. Today (Sunday) she claimed a second in the super giant slalom, or super-g, finishing less than a second in front of GB teammate Menna Fitzpatrick.
Knight, who was born in Canterbury and attended the King’s School, only has 5% vision and is registered blind. She skis behind her guide with whom she communicates by Bluetooth headset.
Knight competed four years ago in Sochi, but was too young to compete in the speed events. She also skied in the 2017 World Para Alpine Skiing Championships but was badly shaken after a 115km/h crash that left her with concussion.
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Not one to be kept down, the University of Kent honorary doctor has overcome blindness and nerves to secure two out of the 6-12 medals set as a target by UK Sport for the British team.
After winning her first medal Knight said: “I can’t stop smiling. It is the best feeling in the world.”
On skiing blind at a speed many full-sighted people would find alarming in a car, Knight says: “people always ask me if it is scary, but it isn’t. I don’t really see all the hazards that are on the slopes, I certainly don’t see the gate and that is why a good guide is so important.
“I have had many guides over the last few years but I am now skiing with Brett Wild from the Royal Navy.”
Wild described their medal victory: “we’ve been working so hard all season, but we’ve been so far away from Henrieta and Natalia so to cross the line and see we were only 0.8 behind, we knew it was a good run.
“It’s gutting to be behind them but it is still phenomenal for us and great to be back in the mix. I’ve never felt so proud in my life.”
This week, Knight and Wild will be competing at several more events beginning with the Super Combined – Super G on Tuesday.