Competing for my country in the Winter Paralympics is my ultimate goal and the dream is getting closer day by day.
It was a pleasure speaking with Enable Magazine about my journey so far, and to appear in a special Winter Paralympics article alongside some truly inspirational athletes, also hoping to compete in Pyeongchang in March.
You can read my interview below and click on the image to read the full feature.
The Journey to Pyeongchang
In 2014, the Sochi Winter Paralympic Games were attended by 547 athletes from 45 nations – it was a roaring success, and PyeongChang has big (snow) shoes to fill. One man looking to make his mark at this year’s Winter Games is alpine skier Chris Lloyd.
After a car crash left Chris paralysed, it was a blow to be told he would never pursue his passion for skiing again. This wasn’t an option for Chris, who took his medical advice and turned it on its head – two years later, he entered his first international race.
Many hours spent in training, combined with sheer determination, means that Chris is now in contention to be selected for the Games in 2018.
“Once the doctor told me I would never ski again, I was motivated to get back on the snow. Once I actually got back on the snow, I thought it was time to work my hardest and get racing and competing again,” says Chris, who now only has 40% power in his right leg and 50% power in his left Despite being told he would never ski again, Chris knew a goal would see him back on his feet.
Chris explains: “The best part for me would be to achieve a goal that I’ve set myself, which seemed very unrealistic at the time. It is obviously an honour to represent your country in that situation. I would be proud to be able to be a part of the team, and going to PyeongChang would be a really proud moment.”
The last Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi 2014 saw Great Britain bring home six medals, and Chris was invited along to see all the action unfold.“It was a big learning curve, going to Sochi. We were on the Paralympic Inspiration Programme, where people who were expected to meet the selection criteria in 2018 for South Korea could see how diff rent the environment was and understand how to prepare for it. Everything is on such a large scale; everything is totally different to a normal race. It’s a buzz.”
Qualification for this year’s Games would be a fantastic achievement for Chris, and his next stop is placing in either the top ten or five.From paralysis and being told he’d never ski again to bracing himself for the slopes of the Winter Paralympics, Chris is proof of what hard work can achieve.
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