Great Britain’s Kelly Gallagher became the first ever British Winter Paralympic gold medallist at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.
She finished in fourth and sixth in her two events at her first Paralympics at the Vancouver 2010 Games, but has won a combined six medals at two IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships in 2011 and 2013.
Together with guide Charlotte Evans, she won her first World Cup title in Sochi, Russia, in the 2012-13 season and captured two silver medals and two bronze at the 2013 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships.
Gallagher, who suffers from oculocutaneous albinism, a condition that affects the pigment of her skin, hair and eyes, is the first athlete from her country to win a medal of any kind at the World Championships level.
However just before the 2015 Worlds, Gallagher was forced to withdraw after Evans suffered concussion after a collision between the two during training. Gallagher returned in 2015-16, competing in the finals of the World Cup where she reached the podium several times in both the speed and technical editions.
In 2017, Gallagher will aim to improve still further when she competes at the World Para Alpine Skiing Championships in Tarvisio, Italy.
Gallagher received a "Ski Barbie" when she was younger and later persuaded her father to take a detour during a family vacation so she could try the sport for the first time. After a few years, her university friends told her she should try racing. As she is not able to drive or cycle, she thinks it is the fastest sport she can do.
Off the snow, she has a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of Bath, a master’s degree from the University of Belfast and worked for the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency.
Further personal information
Sport specific information
In June 2013 she underwent hip surgery, and returned to competition in December 2013. (bbc.co.uk, 13 Jan 2014)
In 2011 she shattered her jaw after crashing into a rope at high speed. She enlisted the help of a sports psychologist to help her to return to competition. (bbc.co.uk, 07 Mar 2014)
In October 2010 she suffered a broken foot. (irishnews.com, 16 Nov 2011)
She was named 2015 Sportswoman of the Year and received the Sports Star with a Disability Award from Northern Irish newspaper Belfast Telegraph. (belfasttelegraph.co.uk, 24 Mar 2015; belfasttelegraph.co.uk, 03 Feb 2015)
In 2014 she was named a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire [MBE] for services to sport for people with a visual impairment. (newsletter.co.uk, 14 Jun 2014)
She received the 2013 Mary Peters Trust Outstanding Sportsperson Award in Northern Ireland. (belfasttelegraph.co.uk, 09 Jan 2014)
In 2014 she became the first athlete in any sport representing Great Britain to win a gold medal at the Paralympic Winter Games when she was victorious in the vision impaired super G [alpine skiing] in Sochi. She was also the first British Para alpine skier to claim a medal at the world championships when she took silver in the vision impaired slalom in Sestriere, Italy, in 2011. (belfasttelegraph.co.uk, 11 Mar 2014; SportsDeskOnline, 10 Mar 2014)
She did a master of research [MRes] degree in social research methods and sociology at Queen's University Belfast in Northern Ireland. (LinkedIn profile, 2014)
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|Women's Slalom VI||Final||2011-01-20||2|
|Women's Giant Slalom VI||Final||2011-01-21||3|
|Women's Downhill VI||Race 1||2013-02-20||3|
|Women's Super-G VI||Race 1||2013-02-21||2|
|Women's Slalom VI||Race 1||2013-02-24||9999|
|Women's Super-Combined VI||Race 1||2013-02-25||2|
|Women's Giant Slalom VI||Race 1||2013-02-26||3|
|Women's Downhill Visually Impaired||Final Round||2014-03-08||6|
|Women's Super-G Visually Impaired||Final Round||2014-03-10||1|
|Women's Slalom Visually Impaired||Final Round||2014-03-12||9999|
|Women's Super Combined Visually Impaired||Final Round||2014-03-14||9999|
|Women's Giant Slalom Visually Impaired||Final Round||2014-03-16||9999|
|Women's Super-G Visually Impaired||Final||2018-03-11||8|
|Women's Super Combined Visually Impaired||Final||2018-03-13||7|
|Women's Giant Slalom Visually Impaired||Final||2018-03-14||5|
|Women's Slalom Visually Impaired||Final||2018-03-18||6|
|Women's Giant Slalom VI||Race 1||2019-01-22||4|
|Women's Slalom VI||Race 1||2019-01-24||4|
|Women's Downhill VI||Race 1||2019-01-30||2|
|Women's Super-Combined VI||Race 1||2019-01-31||3|
|Women's Super-G VI||Race 1 (from SC)||2019-01-31||3|