‘Not our day’: Menna Fitzpatrick and guide take unfortunate tumble on PyeongChang debut

The first athlete in the first race of a Winter Paralympic Games, it all sounded a little too good to be true for alpine skier Menna Fitzpatrick.

Losing balance, falling and failing to finish her first downhill race of PyeongChang 2018, that unfortunately proved exactly the case for the British skier.

The visually impaired racer and guide Jennifer Kehoe had barely gotten started before tumbling to the snow, quickly getting back to their feet to show that no damage was done, physically at least.

Whether nerves or just bad luck played their part is a question for another day but with Fitzpatrick aged just 19 and at her first Games, the former would certainly be understandable.

The fact they had finished second in their training run proved a bitter pill to swallow as they walked away with nothing, with this race more than a hope of getting on the podium.

That was only typified by ParalympicsGB teammate Millie Knight – who Fitzpatrick performed better than over the World Cup season – taking silver of her own.

“We were totally ready to race and had done everything we could,” said Fitzpatrick, who has less than five per cent vision.

“We left everything on the hill but unfortunately today was not our day.”

While guide Kehoe added: “We’re still looking forward to the rest of the week and will go back to the village and reset for the next race.

“We want to say congrats to everyone and especially to our teammates Millie and Brett.”

Gold went to Henrieta Farkasova of Slovakia as other athletes joined Fitzpatrick in failing to complete the opening race of the entire Games, across all sports.

But in alpine skiing the chances are not just limited to one – indeed the teenager has four more events to try and grab silverware, starting with the Super-G in the early hours of Sunday morning.

With ten World Cup medals to their name this season alone, one bad outing far from makes a bad competitor, though a tick in the race complete box will likely be the first thought on Fitzpatrick’s mind.

Sainsbury’s is a proud long-term supporter of the British Paralympic Association and a champion of inclusive sport for all. For more information on Sainsbury’s commitment to inclusive sport visit

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