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INTERNATIONAL PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE
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Kelly Gallagher

Kelly Marie Gallagher

Alpine Skiing
1

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.

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Vision impairment
Origin of Impairment
Congenital
Classification
B3
Guide
Gary Smith

Further personal information

Family
Husband Gerard Tohill
Residence
Northern Ireland
Occupation
Statistician
Languages
English
Higher education
Mathematics - University of Bath: England

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She skied for the first time at age 17 in Andorra, and was accepted on to Great Britain's development squad in 2008.
Why this sport?
She received a 'Ski Barbie' when she was younger and later persuaded her father to take a detour during a family holiday to try the sport for the first time. "We rocked up for a lesson and I instantly adored it." After a few years of ski holidays her university friends told her she should try racing. As she is not able to drive or cycle, she feels it's the fastest sport she can do.
Name of coach
Amanda Pirie [national], GBR

International debut

Year
2009
Competing for
Great Britain
Location
New Zealand

General interest

Hero / Idol
Italian alpine skier Sofia Goggia, US tennis player Serena Williams, US alpine skiers Mikaela Shiffrin and Lindsey Vonn. (Athlete, 05 Mar 2018)
Injuries
She missed the 2017 World Championships in Tarvisio, Italy, after suffering a dislocated elbow and three fractured ribs in a crash during training a few days before the event. (bbc.co.uk, 25 Jan 2017)

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)
Superstitions / Rituals / Beliefs
Placing first in slalom at the 2015/16 World Cup Finals in Aspen, CO, United States of America, winning gold in super G at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, and achieving her first World Cup victory at the 2013 event in La Molina, Spain. (Athlete, 05 Mar 2018)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Think less and live more." (theguardian.com, 26 Dec 2015)
Awards and honours
In July 2015 she received an honorary degree from Queen's University Belfast in Northern Ireland for distinction in sport. (belfastlive.co.uk, 08 Jul 2015)

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)
Impairment
She has oculocutaneous albinism, a condition that affects the pigment of her skin, hair and eyes. She has been registered blind since she was a child. (Athlete, 05 Mar 2018; irishnews.com, 16 Nov 2011)
Other information
NATIONAL FIRSTS
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)

OTHER STUDIES
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)

Results

Unit Date Rank
Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games (Vancouver, Canada)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's Giant Slalom Visually impaired Final Round 4
Women's Slalom Visually impaired Final Round 6
2011 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships (Sestriere, Italy)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's Slalom VI Final 2011-01-20 2
Women's Giant Slalom VI Final 2011-01-21 3
IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships (La Molina, Spain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
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
Paralympic Winter Games 2014 (Sochi, Russia)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
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
Pyeongchang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games (Pyeongchang, South Korea)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
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
Kranjska Gora/Sella Nevea 2019 World Para Alpine Skiing Championships (Kranjska Gora/Sella Nevea, Slovenia)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
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