Heather Mills’ dream of competing at the Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia in 2014 is now a step closer after she scooped four gold medals on the slopes of Aspen, Colorado in the USA this week.
Competing for the British Disabled Ski Team, Heather (44) won two Super G ski speed races and two downhill events at the US Paralympics Adaptive Alpine Speed National and North American Championships on the formidable Tiehack speed course.
"I am absolutely delighted - it is like a dream come true,” said Heather, who competed in the World Cup event wearing a plaster cast to protect a broken thumb.
Heather only took up ski race training a year ago after being spotted on the slopes and encouraged to try out for competitive skiing.
In the last 12 months, she has had five high speed skiing accidents, all of which led to her being hospitalised.
“I fractured my left shoulder twice, snapping my anterior cruciate ligament once and smashing my scapula into five pieces,” says Heather, who had to be airlifted off the slope on one occasion.
After winning her four gold medals, Heather paid tribute to the London Prosthetic Centre (www.thelondonprosthetics.com) and the Austrian prosthetic clinic who worked so hard to make her an artificial limb that would actually ‘stay on’ during the harsh racing conditions.
Heather, who first raced for the British disabled ski team in January this year, attributes her stamina and fitness to rigorous training and her vegan diet, which she first adopted when her left leg was amputated below the knee. Since then she has battled to overcome many setbacks.
“At the time, I became vegan to help the healing process,” says Heather, who wears the names of her vegan food firm The Redwood Wholefood Company and vegan restaurant VBites emblazoned on her ski suit.
“Switching to a plant-based diet made me feel so alive – it completely transformed my life,” she says. “I never looked back.”