13 March 2018
13th placed Meenagh just scratching the surface
Great Britain have only scratched the surface of their potential in Para Nordic skiing, according Scott Meenagh – the man who is blazing a trail at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.
Saturday saw Meenagh become the first Para Nordic skier to represent Britain at the Paralympics for 20 years and a 13th-place finish in Tuesday’s 12.5km biathlon marked the half-way point of his competition schedule.
It is a schedule that would have most running for the hills with six gruelling races in one of the toughest sports around.
But for the Scot he already has one eye on Beijing 2022 and doing it all over again.
"We'll get ready to go again tomorrow"
“I’m immensely proud to be on that start line every time I race,” said Meenagh. “To be a little bit competitive is a real privilege, but that’s testament to the hard training that goes into this and the team that got me here.
“I’ve only been doing this for a couple of years but we’re only just scratching the surface, we’ve got a big plan for the future and we’re not going anywhere.
“The aim is Beijing. But I hope these Games can be a chance to showcase just how awesome this sport is, the challenge, the variety, the physicality it offers, but also the accuracy and the patience to keep it together while shooting.
“If any others get involved, they would love it, hopefully there will be more people on the start line in the coming years.
“This experience has just been amazing, each race is a whole new kettle of fish, you’ve got to hit it so hard – you can’t begin to fade away at any point in the race and it’s ferocious.”
Tuesday’s race proved to be a particularly tough one for all the field, with difficult conditions meaning times were down across the board.
For Meenagh there were five missed shots on the range as he crossed the line in 54:52.9 – Ukraine’s Taras Rad taking gold with an American two-three of Daniel Cnossen and Andrew Soule.
“But I love it, I love being around such high-calibre performers"
The Scot returns to action on Wednesday in the sprint events and, despite fatigue, is in his element.
“It was not a free ride out there, you had to work for every yard in a really, really tough race – probably one of the toughest I’ve ever been involved,” he added.
“Anybody who sits in this seat and gives it a go would agree, this is a tough, tough sport – probably one of the most difficult you could ever do.
“But I love it, I love being around such high-calibre performers, people who do inspirational and unbelievable things, it’s just brilliant.
“I feel pretty wrecked after that race but we’re well-practiced on the recovery strategies, so we’ll get ready to go again tomorrow.
“We came here to be in every single race we came here for exposure to the Paralympic Games, to race tired and to know what it’s like to perform.”
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Meenagh delighted after strong biathlon showing
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