'It's not beyond anyone' - Kelly Gallagher on why others with disabilities can dream of gold medals

The Paralympic gold medallist tells The42 about overcoming obstacles to reach the top of her sport.

Gallagher on her way to winning gold.
Gallagher on her way to winning gold.
Image: Dmitry Lovetsky/AP/Press Association Images

WHILE CONTESTING A Super-G, athletes can reach speeds of close to 90 kilometres per hour which is a decent clip in a car, let alone on a two planks of wood.

Now imagine doing close to that speed with oculocutaneous albinism, a visual impairment that affects the way light is transmitted to the brain due to the lack of pigment in the eye.

That was the reality facing Kelly Gallagher when she lined up at the start gate ahead of the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games Super-G event.

However, 88.72 seconds later, Gallagher was Northern Ireland’s first ever Paralympic gold medallist and Britain’s first on the snow in over twenty years, an achievement that saw her awarded an MBE and nominated for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.

Earlier this month, she popped into The42 towers to tell us her story:

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Kelly was recently appointed as an ambassador for Sigthsavers. Join the conversation, visit and support Sightsavers Ireland at

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Steve O'Rourke

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