Jade Etherington | Visually Impaired Skier | Paralympics

Jade Etherington a Member of the British Disabled Ski Team

You may be surprised to learn that Jade, 21, only recently began competitive racing but is already destined for the Winter Paralympics in Sochi 2014.  It is her determination to succeed that drives this confident, young sportswoman.

Brought up in Lincolnshire, it might also seem ironic that such a flat, rural county could be home to such an accomplished alpine skier.  However, Jade’s introduction to skiing began with her first family ski holiday at the age of eight years old.  Since then, Jade and her family have been regulars on the ski slopes, travelling every year to fulfill their love of the sport.  Jade’s story so far probably doesn’t sound any different to many families in the UK.  What makes Jade’s achievements so special is that Jade has very limited vision due to the congenital condition called Axenphelds Syndrome, complicated by Glaucoma.  Despite enduring many childhood operations, Jade’s vision began to deteriorate quickly at the age of 17 and now has less than 5% vision in each eye.  However, this did not stop Jade and her family continuing with their love of the sport.  Behind this inspirational young lady is Dad, Andrew, and Mum, Amber, who is completely blind and her three close sisters Paris, Bronte and Charity.

Jade’s introduction to competition skiing came in the Summer of 2007 when she took part in the British Disabled Ski Team’s squad trial at the Manchester Chill Factore.  By the end of the weekend she was offered a place on the BDST development squad and then attended one or two training camps every year whilst still at school.

Her commitment to the sport should not be underestimated.  Jade is completing her teacher training career part time to complete her busy training schedule in preparation for Sochi 2014.  However, the sacrifice is paying off and Jade has achieved a podium position in every race she has completed in.  Since starting racing in November 2011 she has competed in 26 races and her world rankings are shown below:

Slalom:                6th
Giant Slalom:      13th
Super-G:              4th
Super Combined: 4th

Aim for 2013: compete and podium at World Championships

Aim for 2014: compete and podium at Winter Paralympics (Sochi 2014)