‘Outstanding and Historic Performances’ for ParalympicsGB as team return with record medal haul
on 17-03-2014 09:51
ParalympicsGB Chef de Mission Penny Briscoe lauded the team’s performances at Sochi 2014 as the athletes and staff returned to the UK after the best ever ParalympicsGB performance at a Paralympic Winter Games to secure a highest ever finish position in the medals table of 10th.
The ParalympicsGB team secured a series of exceptional achievements including:
- First ever gold medal for ParalympicsGB: won by Kelly Gallagher and Charlotte Evans in the women’s VI Super-G. This was also the first gold medal for any British Alpine skier, in either the Olympic or Paralympic Games.
- Most Paralympic medals won by any British winter athlete ever: the fourth medal won by Jade Etherington and Caroline Powell in the women’s VI Super-Combined, equalled the previous record held by Richard Burt, who collected a silver and three bronzes in
- Alpine Skiing across two Games, the 1992 Tignes-Albertville Games and the 1994 Lillehammer Games.
- Most Paralympic medals won by any British winter athlete in a single Games: Etherington and Powell’s fourth medal in the women’s VI Super-Combined broke the record previously held by Denise Smith, who won three silvers in the 1984 Innsbruck Winter Paralympics.
- It also meant that Etherington and Powell now hold the record for most Paralympic medals won by any British female winter athlete ever. They surpassed the previous record jointly held by Denise Smith and Ann Peskey, who collected three medals each at the 1984 Innsbruck Winter Paralympics.
- The first ParalympicsGB medal in Alpine Skiing for 20 years: a silver won by Jade Etherington and Caroline Powell in the women’s VI Downhill as the first medal won in Alpine Skiing since the Lillehammer Paralympics in 1984.
- First ever Paralympic medal for a female Wheelchair Curling skip: GB Skip Aileen Neilson becomes the first ever female skip of a Wheelchair Curling team, and remains the only female to be a skip at that level.
- The first Wheelchair Curling Paralympic medal in 8 years: the bronze won by the ParalympicsGB Wheelchair Curling team was the first Paralympic medal since 2006 in Turin – the first time Wheelchair Curling featured in a Games.
- Most decorated British curler: Angie Malone become the most decorated GB curler in either Olympic or Paralympic history and now has two medals from three Paralympic Games (silver in Turin in 2006 and bronze in Sochi in 2014)
“I am so delighted for the team, they have truly done our nation proud." Penny Briscoe
Penny Briscoe, Chef de Mission, said: “I am so delighted for the team, they have truly done our nation proud. They have put in some outstanding and historic performances on the snow and on the ice, and I feel honoured to have led a team that has been absolutely world-class.”
“Sochi 2014 has been an exceptional Games all round. I said going into the Games that these were ‘the Games of Opportunity’, a chance for winter Paralympic sport to come of age, to inspire disabled people to consider taking up adaptive skiing, wheelchair curling or the other winter sports and to obtain some of the profile that their summer sport counterparts achieved in London. I am so pleased to be able to say that, as a team we have taken pretty much every opportunity over the course of the Games and that the team has been exceptional both on and off the field of play. This group of athletes have shown what is possible in this environment and I hope that, moving forwards ParalympicsGB will be even stronger in PyeongChang.”
Alongside the great coverage received on TV, Radio and in Newspapers, the performances have driven a new winter-sport peak in digital and social media engagement: ParalympicsGB saw an increase of 284% mentions on Twitter and a 494% increase of people talking about them on Facebook.
The BPA’s grassroots sport signposting website, Deloitte Parasport, saw a 138% increase in mentions on Twitter and an 85% rise in people searching for opportunities to play Wheelchair Curling.
The ParalympicsGB Sochi 2014 micro-site has seen a nearly 400% increase in hits as members of the public found out more about GB’s winter athletes and sports.
ParalympicsGB also met the stated UK Sport medal target of winning at least two medals at Sochi 2014, and comfortably surpassed the ambitions of the two winter National Governing Bodies.
"It has been a fantastic team effort and we couldn’t be prouder of the results." Tim Hollingsworth
Tim Hollingsworth, Chief Executive of the British Paralympics Association, added: “This has been a phenomenal experience for all concerned with the British team, and indeed for the Paralympic movement. After the huge leap forward provided by London, the Sochi Games have shown the world how magnificent our winter athletes are too. I would like to extend my congratulations to all our athletes and profound thanks to everyone involved in supporting the team. It has been a fantastic team effort and we couldn’t be prouder of the results.
“Part of this has been the great work of Channel 4, the BBC and the mainstream media in providing more coverage of a Winter Games than ever before. This must continue to grow and we will be as focused on our ambition for PyeongChang 2018 now as we are for Rio and every Games going forward.”
ParalympicsGB will return to the UK this evening, Monday March 17.