Bearsden skiier is double Paralympic silver medalist

Brett Wild and Millie Knight celebrate their Paralympic silver medal
Brett Wild and Millie Knight celebrate their Paralympic silver medal

Two silver medals would be enough for some Paralympians to rest on their laurels – but Bearsden’s Brett Wild isn’t one of them.

The Scottish alpine skier has already surpassed personal expectations with Millie Knight in PyeongChang but that didn’t prevent disappointment surfacing when falling short of another honour.

The two have already claimed runner-up spots in two events in their first Games as a pairing, revelling in superb performances in the downhill and super-G.

But the super-combined proved a step too far as they finished fourth despite being in the bronze medal slot at the halfway stage.

Yet with the giant slalom and slalom still to come at the Jeongseon Alpine Centre, guide Wild knows further chances of a podium place are not over yet.

“We’ll live and learn from it, the mistakes you make are what gets you stronger so we’ll come back firing,” he said.

“It’s frustrating, but right now we’re just trying to look at the positives.

“A lot has happened since we came here, we arrived in such a bad place but we’ll leave with two silver medals already which is beyond what we’d hoped for.

“The race was disappointing, that first run had a little bit of fatigue through it and we never really got going at any point.”

The super-combined saw Wild and Knight – who has less than five per cent vision – first compete in the super-G, one of the events which saw them take silver.

A time of 1:33.63 was enough to sit third, with Henrieta Farkasova and ParalympicsGB teammate Menna Fitzpatrick occupying first and second respectively.

But a disappointing slalom was only enough for fifth place in the discipline, dropping down to fourth overall after being usurped by Australian Melissa Perrine.

The stand-alone slalom is still to come this week but, with these tactics different to what they can expect later on, Wild is not concerned about a knock-on effect.

“We were a lot slower than we were the day before and felt quite lucky to get third, then we had one big massive error in the slalom which cost us,” he added.

“But that’s ski racing, when you’re pushing that hard and you’re on the edge, that can happen so we have to pick ourselves on and move on from that.

“We knew we had it all to play for and had time to make up in the second run so we went for it, it just didn’t come off.

“We decided to go flat out to see what we could do. The first run was disappointing for us, we were in the medals but so far back which made it difficult to pick up any time between the two.”

Earlier in the week Wild had kept his head when all about him were threatening to lose theirs to guide alpine skier Millie Knight to a second silver medal of the Winter Paralympic Games.

The pair – who had secured downhill honours on Saturday – returned for the visually impaired super-G and once again sat only behind Henrieta Farkasova, this time joined by ParalympicsGB teammates Menna Fitzpatrick and Jennifer Kehoe on the podium in PyeongChang.

But Wild and his teenage partner had to do it in more difficult circumstances than the Scot had hoped for.

Day one’s silver had expected to be a springboard in both performance and more importantly confidence, a year on since Knight suffered a nasty crash which left its mark.

But instead she was even more nervous heading back to the Jeongseon Alpine Centre, leaving guide Wild to steer the ship both on skis and in the mind.

“Millie expressed the nerves when we got to the bottom of the inspection and I had to tell her to listen, we’ve been through these races so many times this season where she gets nervous about things she doesn’t need to,” he said.

“So when we got to the bottom she realised it wasn’t as bad as she thought – I told her it wasn’t going to be bumpy.

“I can tell from Millie’s breathing if she’s nervous or anxious, I’ve been skiing with her for two years so I can hear those tells but she did brilliantly out there.

“It’s really hard to tell how well you’ve done when you’re down first, there’s nobody to judge it against so when we saw Menna and Jen go in behind us we knew it was a good run because they’ve beaten us in every race this season.”

Sainsbury’s is a proud long-term supporter of the British Paralympic Association and a champion of inclusive sport for all. For more information on Sainsbury’s commitment to inclusive sport visit http://www.j-sainsbury.co.uk/