Menna Fitzpatrick became Great Britain's most decorated Winter Paralympian after a fantastic performance at her debut Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, in 2018.
The young alpine skier, guided by Jennifer Kehoe, took gold in the women’s slalom vision impaired, silver in the giant slalom and super-combined, and bronze in the super-G.
She also ended second in the overall World Cup standings.
One year before, she had taken bronze in giant slalom at her maiden World Championships in Tarvisio, Italy.
In 2015-16, Fitzpatrick became the first British skier to win the overall women’s vision impaired World Cup.
Fitzpatrick had impressed all season long, stealing multiple podiums on her debut season on the circuit. She edged out her US rival Danelle Umstead by just 10 points.
Her rapid rise has led to national acclaim.
Fitzpatrick received the 2016 Evie Pinching Award, given to an athlete aged 24 and under who is considered an emerging talent by the Ski Club of Great Britain.
The youngster is the latest vision impaired skier to come out of Great Britain, in addition to Millie Knight who stole the show at the 2015 World Championships with a silver and bronze in the giant slalom and slalom respectively.
Fitzpatrick’s idol is five-time Olympic rowing champion Sir Steve Redgrave.
Further personal information
Sport specific information
She broke her hand after falling during super G training ahead of the 2016/17 season. She required surgery and was unable to train on the snow for eight weeks. (snowsportwales.co.uk, 24 Apr 2017; bbc.co.uk, 25 Jan 2017)
In 2018 she was given the Freedom of the Borough award in Cheshire East, England. (cheshireeast.gov.uk, 01 Mar 2018)
She was named Disability Sportswoman of the Year by British newspaper Sunday Times in 2018. (paralympic.org, 02 Nov 2018)
She was named as the flag bearer for Great Britain at the closing ceremony of the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. (gov.wales, 14 Feb 2019)
She received the 2017 Inspiring Young Woman Award in England. (inspiringawards.co.uk, 28 Sep 2017)
She received the 2016 Evie Pinching Award, which is given to an athlete who is aged 24 or under and is considered an emerging talent by the Ski Club of Great Britain. (skiclub.co.uk, 31 May 2016)
In 2016 she became the first British alpine skier to win an overall vision impaired World Cup globe. (snowsportwales.co.uk, 31 Mar 2016)
She and her guide Jennifer Kehoe began competing together in 2015. The pair have developed a close bond due to the amount of time they spend training, as well as the extra work they have to do off the slopes to perfect their communication so that Fitzpatrick gets clear instructions through the bluetooth headset she has in her helmet. Both athletes say their relationship has become almost instinctive, which meant they were still able to secure gold after the bluetooth failed during the slalom event at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. "Every day we are learning something new, testing new skis, skiing on different terrain, snow. All those challenges have added to our experiences and made us better athletes. It's been really good fun to turn what is usually an individual sport into a team sport." (paralympic.org, 29 Nov 2018; telegraph.co.uk, 22 Nov 2018)
|Women's Downhill VI||Race 1||2017-01-25||5|
|Women's Super-G VI||Race 1||2017-01-26||4|
|Women's Super-Combined VI||Race 1||2017-01-28||5|
|Women's Giant Slalom VI||Race 1||2017-01-30||3|
|Women's Slalom VI||Race 1||2017-01-31||4|
|Women's Downhill Visually Impaired||Final||2018-03-10||9999|
|Women's Super-G Visually Impaired||Final||2018-03-11||3|
|Women's Super Combined Visually Impaired||Final||2018-03-13||2|
|Women's Giant Slalom Visually Impaired||Final||2018-03-14||2|
|Women's Slalom Visually Impaired||Final||2018-03-18||1|
|Women's Giant Slalom VI||Race 1||2019-01-22||3|
|Women's Slalom VI||Race 1||2019-01-24||2|
|Women's Downhill VI||Race 1||2019-01-30||1|
|Women's Super-Combined VI||Race 1||2019-01-31||2|
|Women's Super-G VI||Race 1 (from SC)||2019-01-31||1|