Britain's most decorated Winter Paralympian Menna Fitzpatrick targets more medals

How times have changed for Menna Fitzpatrick. Four years ago the Macclesfield para-alpine skier went into the PyeongChang Winter Paralympics in South Korea as a promising teenager.

But after winning gold in Slalom, silver in both the Giant Slalom and Super Combine and a bronze in the Super-G, the 23-year-old goes into March's Beijing Games as Britain's most decorated Winter Paralympian.

Menna has just three per cent vision and competes with the help of a guide who she follows down the slopes. It was her successful partnership with Jen Kehoe that saw the pair not only become medal winning team mates but also best mates.

Great Britain's Menna Fitzpatrick with her guide Jennifer Kehoe celebrate gold at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Paralympics in South Korea. Credit: Adam Davy/PA Archive/PA Images

However, it's all change for Menna going into Beijing after Jen retired from elite sport to focus on her career in the British Army.

Menna says: "It was quite sad because we knew our racing time was over.

"At that time I didn't know who my guide was going to be so it was a pretty terrifying and unnerving few months and the team then said we've got this girl called Katie Guest.

"She's a great guide and makes it as easy as possible for me."

Menna Fitzpatrick and Katie Guest Credit: GB Snowsport

A change in guide is not the only challenge Menna has had to face.

Travelling at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour down a slope has its dangers and just before lockdown she broke her tibia racing at the British Championships.

Menna says: "I ended up going through the finish line and losing a ski and breaking my leg. That meant spending the whole of lockdown on crutches."

Credit: Fitzpatrick Family

Menna has had plenty of disruption in the run up to these Winter Paralympics and she's taking precautions to make sure Covid-19 isn't another. 

She says: "I am double vaccinated and had a booster.

"To even get to the Games and to travel these days you really do need to have one to stop positive cases from spreading through the athletes.

"The last thing that you want when you're out in China is to have to self isolate on a ward somewhere."

Menna's many medals already make her Britain's best Winter Paralympian, but winning more would be extra special.

She says: "I know how cheesy it sounds but it would mean everything to me and it proves to myself that it wasn't a one off.

"If we do win it would definitely be one of my proudest moments."

It would also be a proud moment for her family who'll be cheering her on from home in Macclesfield with overseas spectators banned from these Games. 

These are the biggest three months of Menna's life as before Beijing she's out in Norway at the World Championships trying to add to her already impressive medal collection.