13 Mar 2014

All-rounder Ben Sneesby goes for skiing glory at Sochi

A high-level performer in swimming and wheelchair basketball, 19-year-old Ben Sneesby is a gifted all-round sportsman. But skiing is his first love, and a medal at Sochi would be a career highlight.

Benjamin Sneesby (Getty Images)

Ben Sneesby was born with a tumour on his spine, leaving him with no feeling in his left leg and only partial sensation in his right leg, writes Becky Horsbrugh.

Sneesby was 11 when he first discovered skiing on a dry ski slope and quickly took to the sport. Just two years later he was talent-spotted and invited to become of the first members of the British disabled ski team’s youth development squad.

He deferred his studies in sports science at Sheffield Hallam University to focus on skiing, and the move has paid off. In his first full season of racing he secured four top-10 finishes and qualified to race at Europea Cup level in all five alpine ski disciplines.

The 19-year-old is a gifted all-round sportsman, having won three medals at the 2009 national junior swimming championships. He also captained the England South wheelchair basketball team at last year’s School Games in Sheffield.

However, skiing is his greatest love, and a medal in Sochi in one of the most adrenaline-fuelled and dangerous events at the Games would be the highlight of his sports career so far. The Games will also be a great experience for a medals push at the Pyeongchang Winter Games in 2018.

In action

13 March: slalom

15 March: giant slalom

Becky Horsbrugh is a producer for Channel 4 News