Kelly Gallagher and her guide Gary Smith join the ParalympicsGB line-up for PyeongChang 2018.
Kevin O'Neill, Chief Executive of Disability Sport NI welcomed the announcement saying, "We are delighted at the news of Kelly's selection. Kelly gave a fantastic performance in 2014 when she became the first British Winter Paralympian to secure a Gold medal. Having worked hard to overcome recent injuries, Kelly is back to performing 100% and we look forward to watching her compete at the Games."
Kelly became the first British athlete to win a gold medal on snow in either Olympic or Paralympic competition when she topped the podium in the women’s super-G at Sochi 2014 with guide Charlotte Evans. She will compete at her third Paralympic Games after making her debut at Vancouver 2010.
Since Sochi, Gallagher has forged a new partnership with Smith, who has taken leave from the RAF to dedicate his time to training. Gallagher sustained multiple injuries following a crash in training ahead of the 2017 World Championships however, after an intensive period of rehabilitation, the pair have been back in action in the 2017/18 season.
Kelly Gallagher MBE said: “I’m absolutely delighted to be selected for ParalympicsGB for my third Games alongside Gary. The journey to PyeongChang has not been an easy one for me and, while I’m still hopeful that I will have the opportunity to defend my title and contest all events, Gary and I will work really hard to ensure we’re in the best place we can be for the Games and make sure every day counts before our first race.”
Penny Briscoe OBE, Chef de Mission for ParalympicsGB, added: “I’d like to congratulate Kelly and Gary on their selection to the team. We have such strength in depth in this event now and it’s definitely one to watch at the Games. It’s also great to see an athlete with Kelly’s experience representing us in PyeongChang.”
The PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games take place from March 9-18.
Kelly Gallagher, 32, Bangor
Gary Smith, 33, Lildlington
Image credit: Paralympics GB