Welsh visually impaired skier, Menna Fitzpatrick and her guide Jennifer Kehoe completed the IPC (International Paralympic Committee) World Cup in Aspen (USA) over the weekend by winning the overall World Cup Visually Impaired title, narrowly beating USA athlete Danelle Umstead by 10 points in the season long multi discipline competition.
It is a remarkable achievement for the seventeen year old as it is not only her first season competing at World Cup level but she also only joined mid way through the winter season in January 2016. Menna teamed up with her guide Jennifer Kehoe after getting back involved in ski racing last summer having been invited to train with the Wales Ski Team and Welsh based club Dragons Alpine. Menna achieved some great results while being supported by the Disability Sport Wales Academy programme which gained her qualification for the World Cup programme.
These results bode well for the future as Menna and Jennifer believe they still have much to improve in their skiing and they have lots of experience to gain at World level especially in the speed events where they competed last week for the first time.
Robin Kellen, Chief Executive Snowsport Cymru Wales said, “We are delighted to see Menna achieving her potential at the World Cup. When Menna was spotted a few years ago skiing at an indoor snow centre in Manchester with her father it was clear she had lots of talent. I can only see this getting better and better right now.”
Menna Fitzpatrick said, "It's been a busy but very exciting couple of weeks ski racing with my guide Jennifer Kehoe at the World Cup Finals in Aspen, Colorado. We are very pleased to be bringing home 3 gold and 3 silver medals but to be the 2016 winners of The World Cup Globe as this year’s overall World Champions is just incredible. I have had an amazing time with a great team, who have all done so well and I'm so proud to be their teammate. The support from my coaches and other support staff has been the key to making this such a fantastic experience. A big thank you to Disability Sport Wales Academy programme and their sponsors General Dynamics UK for all their continued support.”
Menna was recently shortlisted for the 2016 Emerging Athlete Award at the Disability Sport Wales Celebration Evening.