JADE ETHERINGTON insists her success in Sochi has been beyond her wildest dreams after making history as the first British athlete to win four medals at a single Winter Paralympics.
Alongside guide Caroline Powell, Etherington won silver in the women’s visually impaired super combined event to go with the three medals she had already won during her debut Games.
Despite starting the day 3.12seconds behind Russia’s Aleksandra Frantceva, Etherington and Powell put together a fantastic Super-G run to claim second spot, just 0.63seconds off gold.
And given that they only came together last August and barely qualified for the super combined event itself, Etherington admits their achievements have left her stunned.
“Looking back we haven’t skied as well as that ever, it was one of our best runs and we pulled back a couple of seconds,” she said.
“It was tough, it hurt all the way down. We are really annoyed not to get the gold and it was so close again to Frantceva but we got another medal and we will continue fighting.
“It is crazy [to get four medals], especially as this is my first-ever Paralympics and we had such a bumpy season.
“We only started skiing in August, I broke my ankle and we have had illness, working out what races to go to [in order] to get qualified.
“We weren’t even qualified for the super combined before so to come down and get a medal is great – and hopefully everyone can see from the time that we did fight for it and we did GB proud.”
Also in action yesterday were GB sitting-skiers Anna Turney and Mick Brennan, who were both looking to move up the standings after the slalom section of the super combined.
Going out the gate first, 34-year-old Turney knew she needed to go for broke if she was to be in with a shot of a medal, but sadly crashed out midway through her run.
Brennan’s run, meanwhile, was brought to a halt after the athlete before him had got stuck in the finish area, forcing him to have a re-run.
But admitting that gave him a look at how the course was, Brennan was pleased to finish in eighth – his second top-ten finish of the Games.
“Coming down over the first pitch I saw the yellow flag waving,” he said. “So once I was on the flat I came to a controlled stop but I then knew the speed wasn’t a problem for me.
“I had made a few mistakes on the top section so it gave me a look at what I can improve on for the second run so I was pleased.
“I cut into the Japanese guy who was in front of me so that was my aim, try and go down and beat somebody.”
Britain have a good chance of adding to their medal tally – now standing at five – later today as the wheelchair curlers look to defeat hosts Russia for a place in the final and to guarantee themselves at least silver.
While back in the mountains Brennan, Ben Sneesby and James Whitley will be in men’s giant slalom action.