Para Alpine-Skier Millie Knight is hoping to add to her Paralympic medal collection at Beijing 2022, following her impressive silver and bronze medal wins at Pyongchang.
It’s been a long road to the Beijing 2022 Winter Games for 23-year-old Paralympian Millie Knight.
The Kent speedster emerged as one of the faces of the British team after the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang, where she won a hat-trick of alpine skiing medals – two silver, one bronze.
But after that thrilling performance, a series of concussions since – including one serious incident in Leogang, Austria, last February – have derailed her preparations for Beijing.
But despite those tough setbacks, Knight has re-emerged fighting and will arrive in Beijing with momentum.
She used the Christmas break to accelerate her recovery and soared to a brilliant super combined gold with guide Brett Wild at last month’s World Championships in Lillehammer.
A bronze medal in the women's visually impaired Super-G – won on her 23rd birthday – also helped to build confidence ahead of the Beijing Games.
“It’s amazing considering the struggles, injuries and challenges that we’ve had. I’m pretty proud,” said Knight, one of over 1,000 athletes able to train full-time, access to the world’s best coaches and benefit from pioneering technology, science and medical support thanks to vital National Lottery funding.
“It’s taken a lot of determination – I still can’t really believe that I’m sat here going to my third Games considering the place where my head was in half a year ago.
“I genuinely thought: how can I even put skis back on, how can I do it when I know I’ve got so much fear these days?
“There were lots of times during the recovery when I questioned whether I was going to recover properly.
“It’s just all these doubts and questions that keep coming into my head that never previously came into my head - I thought I’d lost my bottle.
“When I got my selection letter through, it was quite emotional. ParalympicsGB are becoming like a family now – to represent them for the third time is incredible.”
Knight and Wild, 29, will compete in five events next month, but it’s the downhill and Super-G – where they won two silvers in PyeongChang – that represent their strongest podium hopes.
The alpine ace knows she’s evolved as a skier and admits enjoying the moment, not medals, is now her number one priority.
“I’m a different skier now – I’m a more mature skier, who takes less risks, but I work super hard in the gym, so I know I’m strong,” added Knight, whose medals in PyeongChang were three of 1,000-plus achieved by British athletes since the introduction of National Lottery funding to elite sport in 1997.
“The experience is what I’m going to these Games for – it’s for the performance to cross the line, standing on my feet with a smile on my face.
“If we come away from these Games without a medal, that’s not going to be disappointing for us – it’s about performing well and being proud of what we’ve done.”
Since National Lottery funding to elite sport started in 1997, over 1,000 Olympic and Paralympic medals have been won, with more to come in Beijing 2022, Paris 2024 and beyond.