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  1. ITV Report

Exeter's Special Olympics skier hopes to keep GOLD title in National Championships

Credit: Jack Hale

For the past four years, Jack Hale has been racing slalom and grand slalom at Special Olympics events up and down the country. The award winning sportsman is 25 and has Downs Syndrome.

He is currently preparing for the National Alpine Skiing Championships coming up in February held in Switzerland.

I feel really strong and brave.

– Jack Hale

Despite saying he doesn't do it to win, he boasts an impressive record. The 2019 National Championships saw him win gold twice. His two sisters and mother were at the championships cheering him on.

But a spinal injury the same year forced him to take a break from sport.

He has now overcome the setback and is training at Torquay Alpine Ski Centre and Exeter Ski Club for his next competition.

I feel like in my heart I know I can do it. It doesn't matter if you don't get awards or a medal. It's about... you're out there competing with other people and just enjoy what you are.

– Jack Hale
Jack with his mother and sister. Credit: Jack Hale

The Special Olympics is the world's largest sports organisation for children and adults with intellectual and physical disabilities, with five million participants and 172 partaking countries.

Jack says the Special Olympics and skiing has made a huge difference to his life and changed it for the better.

Jack with his gold medals and his mother. Credit: ITV West Country

The pressure is now on for Jack with the nationals just two weeks away.

As he gets ready to keep hold of his winning title, he says there'll be one thing on his mind when he's skiing between the poles - Spandau Ballet's very own 'Gold'."

He told ITV News: "My head is singing about it thinking 'I can achieve that'."