• Winter Paralympics

'We are less than skint, we have no money'

ESPN staff
March 18, 2014
Kelly Gallagher won gold in the Super-G, while Jade Etherington notched four medals © Getty Images

Kelly Gallagher has revealed that she is returning home from Sochi "less than skint".

Visually impaired skier Gallagher, along with guide Charlotte Evans, won Britain's first ever Winter Paralympics gold medal, while team-mate Jade Etherington and her guide, Caroline Powell, won three silvers and a bronze.

Along with the wheelchair curling team's bronze, it means GB reached their medal target of six that was agreed with UK. But both Gallagher and Etherington have cast doubts over their futures in the sport due to a lack of funding.

"We are skint, we are less than skint, we have no money," Gallagher told the Telegraph.

"We love this sport and I'm so glad that people are getting to see they can achieve whatever they want to achieve through throwing themselves at something.

"We've been through so much. I've been through so much injury that my body is a wreck, Charlotte's deferred her university course."

Etherington, meanwhile, has raised doubts over her future in the sport. She said that, due to the sacrifices involved, she had to be convinced that required funding would be made available by Disability Snowsport UK.

While £750,000 was needed from UK Sport to fund the team in Sochi, it is estimated around £5 million will be required for Pyeongchang in 2018 - particularly if GB want representation in more than two disciplines.

Penny Briscoe, the Paralympics GB performance director, said: "Funding is based on results in part and also being able to present a business case to UK Sport.

"The sport has the talent pathway to be able to deliver in the next four to eight years and from a skiing perspective and curling perspective we feel pretty confident, but it is work in progress in terms of developing the entire winter sport programme for Paralympics GB.

"We didn't have any snowboard representation or sledge hockey representation in Russia and the significant number of medals in both biathlon and Nordic that we haven't seen since the 1990s.

"The standard of Paralympic Winter sport is no different to the summer sport programme: the bar's being set higher and higher and therefore for us to be competitive we've got to have more robust programmes."

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