Mark Abel

Alpine Skiing

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Vision impairment
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
B2

Further personal information

Family
Wife Anita, daughter Sophie
Languages
English

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He learned to ski in 1983, and tried Para skiing for the first time in January 2012.
Why this sport?
He learned to ski during his military service, and continued to participate in the sport after leaving the British Army. After losing his vision he returned to skiing with Blind Veterans UK.

General interest

Hobbies
Cycling, swimming, pilates, golf. (helpforheroes.org.uk, 2016; sightconcern.co.uk, 2017)
Memorable sporting achievement
Competing at the 2016 Invictus Games in Orlando, FL, United States of America. (worcesterobserver.co.uk, 27 May 2016)
Other sports
He competed in Para swimming at the 2016 Invictus Games in Orlando, FL, United States of America. (worcesterobserver.co.uk, 27 May 2016)
Impairment
In January 2011 he woke up one night realising he had lost most of his vision. Multiple sclerosis had triggered bilateral optic neuritis, damaging his optic nerves. (worcesternews.co.uk, 14 Mar 2016, 08 Jan 2016)
Other information
ARMY VETERAN
He left the British Army in 1996 having served 14 years with the Royal Corps of Transport and Royal Logistics Corps. (cobseo.org.uk, 01 Jun 2016)

FAMILY LOSS
In January 2017 his son, Sam, committed suicide at age 14 after being targeted by bullies at school. "We'll never be entirely sure [why] because he only really spoke to his friends about it. I know pranks were pulled on him that were particularly cruel. I was abroad on a Paralympic ski meeting at the time I found out. We used to go skiing as a family, because obviously I can't go skiing by myself, so Sam used to come out and guide me. I will miss him dearly." (worcesternews.co.uk, 01 Jun 2017)