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NI skier Kelly Gallagher named in GB Paralympic team

Kelly Gallagher
Gallagher will create history with her Vancouver debut

Visually impaired skier Kelly Gallagher has been added to the Great Britain team for next month's 2010 Winter Paralympics in Vancouver.

The 24-year-old from County Down becomes the first winter Paralympian from Northern Ireland.

Gallagher, who skis with her guide Claire Robb, completed an international classification last weekend.

She joins fellow skiers Sean Rose, Russell Docker, Tim Farr, Talan Skeels-Piggins, Jane Sowerby and Anna Turney.

Gallagher said: "I am over the moon at being selected for the team. It is every athlete's dream to represent their country and it's very exciting to be the first paralympic skier from Northern Ireland."

Team manager Dave Chugg added: "It is excellent that Kelly has been selected. Although she is a relative newcomer to the team, she is a great prospect for the future and I am confident that Vancouver will be a valuable experience for her in her development as a skier."

Docker is a veteran of two Winter Games, while Rose competed in Turin in 2006.

Rose said: "My first Paralympics in Turin were a great experience and it's fantastic now to be going to Whistler with real medal potential."

The Cambridge skier, who broke his back in a ski accident in 2000, is in superb form after winning a recent World Cup downhill race in Sestriere.

He narrowly missed out on a medal four years ago in Turin, finishing sixth in the downhill, while Docker will be competing in his third Paralympics after making his debut in Salt Lake City in 2002.

ParalympicsGB chief executive Phil Lane said: "We hope that the British public will support our Winter Paralympic team as much as they did our highly successful summer team.

"It is fantastic that we are in a position to announce such a large alpine skiing team.

"It reflects not only the quality of our athletes but also the dedication of the staff at the British Disabled Ski Team and the support that ParalympicsGB have been able to provide, for example winter camps and access to technical services for the skiers."

Great Britain have already named a five-strong wheelchair curling team who will be hoping to improve on the silver medal they won in Turin.

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see also
Blind skier makes Olympic history
22 Jan 10 |  Cross country skiing
Rose secures famous World Cup win
21 Jan 10 |  Alpine skiing
GB name Paralympic curling squad
13 Jan 10 |  Vancouver 2010
Error costs Rose dear in Austria
12 Jan 10 |  Alpine skiing
Rose impresses with slalom bronze
21 Dec 09 |  Vancouver 2010
Skiers aim for Vancouver
13 Apr 09 |  Alpine skiing
Rose ends World Cup on high note
16 Mar 09 |  Disability Sport
A-Z of Paralympic classification
28 Aug 08 |  Disability Sport
Disability Sport on the BBC
02 Nov 09 |  Disability Sport

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