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Clyde sailor swaps deep for the steep

2 March 2017
An HM Naval Base Clyde based submariner recently led Paralympic skier Millie Knight to gold medal success at the World Para Alpine Skiing Championships.

Able Seaman Brett Wild, a steward on board HMS Ambush, accompanied partially sighted Millie to the event in Tarvisio in the Italian Alps in January this year.

The pair arrived in Italy already on a high and filled with confidence following their recent success in the Inkerkremms World Cup Speed races in Austria, where they had won gold in every race.

When asked about their success Millie said: “Having done well in the first three races we wanted to win the fourth and make it a clean sweep. What an 18th Birthday present!”

Building on this success, and with only a few days training in between, Millie and Brett went on to win gold in the first race which was the Downhill event. Millie and Brett became the first ever British Snow sports World Champions.

Having done well in the first three races we wanted to win the fourth and make it a clean sweep. What an 18th Birthday present!

Millie Knight

Unfortunately Millie crashed through the finish line, travelling at 115 kilometres per hour, whilst winning the race; this led to her having a severely bruised ankle and knee as well as minor concussion. 

In spite of her injuries Millie still achieved fantastic results, going on to win silver medals in the other four disciplines she was competing in.

The most important thing that the pair took from the Championships was that they won the Gold medal they required to secure maximum funding from UK Sport which is the National Lottery funding.

 “I wouldn’t be here without the tremendous support from the National Lottery and the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity for enabling me to ski with Millie,” said Brett.

“We came into this competition confident from our world cup success and today’s performance has been truly brilliant and has delivered vital international results for Great Britain.”

The pair have been training and competing together since February 2016 when Brett was invited to take part in a trial with Millie.

Following the three day trail and then a very successful month in Aspen for the World Cup Finals, Brett was delighted to be asked to be Millie’s full time guide.

In spite of a few challenges such as Millie having to take time out to sit her exams and then being ill for a few months ,the skiing duo have gone  from strength to strength and together they have won eight gold, seven silver and one bronze medal.

They are currently off to South Korea to compete in the Paralympic test event and World Cup Finals where they can hopefully add to their collection of medals.

With the Paralympics taking place in March 2018, Brett said:  “I can’t explain how grateful I am to the Royal Navy for this unbelievable opportunity. Millie and I are both very pleased with our progress and hopefully we can take this confidence to Pyeongchang and win gold for Great Britain”

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