Millie’s #champion Blog

28 February 18

written by:

Natalie Aspinall

(more articles)

 

As I write this, I am sitting amongst all my bags that are packed for South Korea, eight large cases and 10 pairs of skis. I start my travels to the 2018 Winter Paralympics this weekend, although my journey started years ago. I lost my sight at the age of 6 and started to learn to ski at the same time. I knew immediately that this was my sport - I loved it. At 11, I started to look into racing with the then, British disabled ski team and was selected to join the development squad a year later. I haven’t looked back once. The 2018 Games were always my main goal but Sochi was an early bonus and a fantastic experience.

I have worked so hard and hope we can pull a good result out of the bag in the five races that my guide and I will be competing in. When not on snow, we both spend every day in the gym with our trainer. This is something I really enjoy. I love pushing myself and improving all my personal bests in the gym. I love feeling fit and strong, it’s as important as our training time on snow.

We have been training on snow, in the mountains roughly about two weeks on, two weeks off. It has been quite intense over the last two years but I can’t complain. I left school last July so not juggling that as well has made this much easier. I did get some quite good results and had some great support from my school, Kings School Canterbury. I plan to go to Loughborough University in September 2018 and juggle my studies again with my skiing as I take on another four years of study and my third Paralympics in 2022 in Beijing.

I am very competitive and set myself some tough goals but I am mostly driven by the people around me who help me to achieve those goals. I have so much respect for my coaches and their approval and respect is so important to me, I always want to do well for them.

I am often asked who my sporting hero is - I have many, as I follow many sports but I have always had huge respect for my guide Brett Wild. He is pretty awesome and we have got an amazing sporting relationship. He has a very tough job as I rely on him completely to get me down the hill as fast as possible and safely. He had no experience of guiding until a trial weekend in January 2016. We have had two great years working together - he is definitely my sporting #Champion.

My top tips for success is to work hard. Try as many things as you can until you find out what you are good at, then give it your all.

For anyone who might be interested in getting involved with skiing I would recommend getting in contact with Disability Snowsport UK. They will get you up and running and you never know, you could be heading for the 2026 Paralympics too.