International Albinism Day and Ski 2 Freedom Foundation recognises the invaluable work that Kelly Gallagher MBE is doing, as both a Patron of Ski 2 Freedom and an Ambassador for Visually Impaired Skiing, in helping to change lives
Skiing is the freedom that drove Kelly Gallagher to becoming not just Northern Ireland’s first Olympic skier but
won Britain's first ever Winter Paralympic gold medal during Sochi 2014. Born with Oculocutaneous-Albinism,
Kelly is a shining light that is guiding more and more people to share her passion for the mountains and to
have an independent and inclusive family ski holiday. Her support has already motivated many families to
contact Ski 2 Freedom to find out how they too can find a sense of freedom.
To raise awareness Ski 2 Freedom was delighted to catch up with Kelly to find out what motivates her and why
she is so keen to help the Charity inspire young people to take up skiing and winter sports:-
Q: Kelly, thank you for sharing your passion with us today. Why were you inspired to become a Patron of
Ski 2 Freedom?
A: Being a Patron of Ski 2 Freedom was very appealing to me because I love the passion and
commitment that Catherine (founder and trustee) brings to helping families enjoy the mountains together
totally independently and with the best instruction.
Q: How did skiing help you in overcoming the challenges of having Oculocutaneous-Albinism?
A: I found that skiing gave me far more joy as a sport than others I had tried back home – the speed is so
much fun and just being in the mountains with the wide, expansive sky is simply beautiful.
Q: What advice would you give to young people and families with the same condition as to why being in
the mountains can be such a life-changing experience?
A: The independence and freedom I gain from being in the mountains is unmatched! I passionately
believe that families and people with disabilities should try a holiday in the snowy mountains as I know they will
experience that same sense of freedom as well. In addition, it is amazing to share this experience with close
friends and family.
Q: Knowing how busy you are now as a new mother, have your dreams changed about returning to
racing and do you have other plans and aspirations that will help inspire young people to take up a new
A: I have been very fortunate to give birth to a beautiful baby girl and I look forward to taking her to enjoy
the mountains as soon as possible. Sadly COVID-19 has put a spanner in the works of my original plan to
return to ski racing this summer, so instead I will get strong here in the UK and then hopefully hit the slopes as
a new mother sometime later in the year.....
As a Patron, I have been able to help with raising awareness of the importance of inclusivity within snow
sports through workshops with young students and, help encourage young people with a visual impairment to
take up the challenge of skiing, it is a sport that can be enjoyed on the same terms as everyone else.
If you or someone you know is affected by Albinism and would like to know more about where to ski
and how to enjoy the mountains in winter, please do contact us and we will put you in touch with the definitive
guide for all things magical about a ski holiday!
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