With only six months until the World Winter Games start, Special Olympics GB alpine skier, Fleur O’Donohue talks about her excitement and pride of being selected to compete.

In six months’ time, a delegation of 27 from Special Olympics GB will be in Kazan, Russia for the start of the Special Olympics World Winter Games.   And for alpine skier, Fleur O’Donohue from Special Olympics West Midlands Ski Group, she just cannot wait! 

As well as being a double gold medal-winning Special Olympics GB athlete, Fleur is also a proud member of the Athlete Leadership Team and currently trains and competes in alpine skiing, equestrian and athletics.  As she prepares to compete at the World Winter Games in Kazan, this will be the second time Fleur has represented her country. Fleur took part in the 2007 World Summer Games in Shanghai where she took two gold medals in the equestrian event. 

Fleur is absolutely delighted to have been selected to compete, as she explains: “Being picked for the World Winter Games is my biggest achievement to date.  It’s great to represent my country again.  I just want to make everyone at Special Olympics GB proud.  It’s been a difficult selection process, and this is a big step for me.  But we are all delighted – especially my Mum and Dad.” 

But even though this is the second time Fleur has been selected for a World Games, Fleur admits to feeling a little apprehensive about it: “I’m going to be nervous representing my country.” However, she is doing everything she can to be ready for the Games.  

With Covid-19 having had a big impact on the team’s training schedule, Fleur is determined to, “train harder” to be ready.  With virtual sessions with coaches, exercise programmes to keep the athletes fit and healthy, training sessions at weekends and balance boards to help with core and leg muscles, the coaches have had to be creative to keep training going during lockdown.   

“I’m really concentrating on what the coaches are saying to me.  If the coach says, ‘you have to do it this way’, I will do it.  If something is too big, they say break it down into small pieces.  And don’t forget to ask questions if you don’t understand.”   

The athletes are also encouraged to be healthy eaters with lots of fruit and vegetables in their diets.  Fleur has swapped dairy for soya milk and has even given up eating chocolate! 

With restrictions easing earlier in the year, Fleur and her fellow skiers have been able to get back on the slopes which is great news and something Fleur is loving, along with going fast on her skis! 

All in all, Fleur is excited to being going to Kazan and looking forward to lots of different things: “It’s going to be brilliant. I can’t wait. I’m looking forward to representing Great Britain, seeing a different country and their culture; meeting new friends and (hopefully) winning medals.” 

No matter what happens we are sure Fleur and the rest of #TeamSOGB will do Great Britain proud, and we wish them all the best for their training.  

If you’ve been inspired by Fleur’s dedication to her training and want to make a donation to help send Fleur and her team mates to Kazan please click HERE

Go #TeamSOGB!