Skiing at 115 kilometers an hour «without seeing almost nothing»

At the start of the Paralympics of PyeongChang, there is also Millie Knight despite the bad falls of last year: “I see only within a radius of 2 meters and all clouded. I follow the instructions and the orange jacket of my guide. I was scared, now point to gold »

To many, on the summit of a particularly steep ski slope, it has happened to ask whether to try to go down or avoid unnecessary risks: skiing is not a sport for those who are afraid, that’s for sure. Millie Knight, a British skier competing at the PyeongChang Paralympics, opened on 9 March. When he was 1 year old he contracted an eye disease and now he goes down along these dangerous tracks without seeing practically nothing: «I can see in the radius of about two or three meters but completely clouded, I have 5% left» says the English athlete . «I do not really have a deep perception, so I do not know how far things are from me when I have to interact».

Yet even Millie, already world champion, was afraid in her life, just because of a fall on skis. “It was December 2016,” recalls Brett Wild, his guide. “A few meters from the finish line I told her to let go of her legs and push hard”. And instead of scoring the best time trial, the sensational slide arrived: “The impact with the ice cut her face at various points,” adds the instructor. “It ended up under an inflatable that limits the track, I heard her ask for help on the radio.” Nothing serious in reality: he leaves the hospital and tries to show up the next day at Super-G, but his psychologist Fay makes him understand that this is not the case.

The worst, however, was still to come for the Knight: in early 2017, in fact, crashes at 115 kilometers per hour and reports a slight concussion that upsets the plans. But above all the mind: the 1999 class girl, already a flag bearer in Sochi, starts to be afraid of skiing. The driver feels guilty: it is he who precedes the athlete on the track and gives him orders with bluetooth headphones. After trying so many, he reports his Millie together with the psychologist about the location of the accident: the stratagem works and the girl starts winning again. One, two, three medals: in Canada he goes low and now he points straight to the Paralympic gold at PyeongChang.

In the first race, the downhill, a silver was put around his neck. But there are still many occasions and Millie is not a character who surrenders easily.