The curtain fell on ParalympicsGB’s most successful ever Winter Games tonight (Sunday March 16) as the team celebrated nine extraordinary days of competition.
ParalympicsGB delivered on the promise to thrive in the environment in Sochi. Multiple personal best performances and the acquisition of an incredible six medals (one gold, three silver, two bronze) led the British team to their greatest ever performance at a Paralympic Winter Games and a best ever finish position of 10th place on the medal table.
All 15 athletes marched into the Fisht Stadium in Sochi to enjoy an awe-inspiring Closing Ceremony entitled ‘Reaching the Impossible’.
Jade Etherington and guide Caroline Powell took the role of flagbearer, in recognition of a truly remarkable set of performances throughout this Games. Their three silver and one bronze medals in alpine skiing make them the most successful winter Paralympic athletes of all time and have helped to make this ParalympicsGB’s most successful ever Winter Paralympic Games.
Also marching were ParalympicsGB’s first ever winter gold medallist Kelly Gallagher and guide Charlotte Evans and the wheelchair curlers Aileen Neilson, Bob McPherson, Jim Gault, Gregor Ewan and Angie Malone who claimed bronze in a thrilling match on the penultimate day of competition.
Gallagher said: “Now we have finished our competition schedule, we are excited to enjoy the celebrations, relax and take in what we have actually accomplished.
“It’s been great to be here at the Closing Ceremony with the curlers as one team.”
Neilson said: “It’s great to be at the Closing Ceremony with all the ParalympicsGB athletes and staff and it’s a fantastic finale to an amazing experience. The last few days have been a real rollercoaster ride but we are all extremely proud to have represented our country and to be part of such a successful team”.
ParalympicsGB Chef de Mission Penny Briscoe added: “The Closing Ceremony was a spectacular end to a spectacular Games. Undoubtedly this was the best ever prepared ParalympicsGB winter team and performances on ice and snow demonstrated that. To achieve such success truly shows what’s possible when the right athletes, the right support and the right environment come together. It’s been an honour and a privilege to lead this talented team in Sochi.”
‘Reaching the Impossible’ was designed to show that dreams can be achieved and that with strength, passion and a change of perception anything is possible. The show featured an incredible mix of light, music and dance to convey its message.
With a look to the future, the ceremony tonight also included an introduction to PyeongChang, the host city of the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.