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Last Updated: Friday, 14 April 2006, 14:18 GMT 15:18 UK
Blind skier sets downhill record
Coach Norman Clark (left) and blind skier Kevin Alderton
The former soldier was aiming at speeds of more than 130mph

A former soldier who lost his sight when he was attacked in the street has set a new downhill speed skiing record by a blind person of 100.94mph.

Kevin Alderton, 34, from Dartford, Kent, set the record at Les Arcs in France. He was guided on the slope via radio speakers in his helmet.

Afterwards he said: "I feel absolutely amazing. It shows disability is no barrier to achievement."

Mr Alderton had his eyes gouged when he tried to stop a gang attacking a woman.

Fear 'channelled'

Before the attempt he said: "You have to have a streak of lunacy in you to even attempt anything like this."

Known as Kevin "Cannonball" Alderton, he was a keen skier before the gang attack in London eight years ago. He was left with 4% vision.

If I can inspire somebody to do something they would not normally do, my aims have been achieved
Kevin Alderton

On Friday morning, before making the attempt, he told the BBC: "The blindness was absolutely devastating.

"To live with a disability is hard enough. To try to readjust your life in every way is just huge."

He said he found himself able to ski again because of the charity St Dunstan's for blinded ex-servicemen.

"A friend of mine decided to ask if I was interested. I decided to go along and have a crack at it," he said.

"They put me back on skis and back on the road to where I am now.

'Aim to inspire'

"If I can inspire somebody to do something they would not normally do, my aims have been achieved.

"I'm not just doing it for fun. It is something I have always wanted to do.

"You need to look at the end goal, the end product. The training has been fantastic."

Mr Alderton has been selected for the Great Britain Adaptive Ski Team Development Squad and also hopes to compete in the 2008 World Championships and the 2010 Paralympics in Canada.


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