Neil Simpson and his guide and brother Andrew Simpson won GB’s first gold medal on day two of the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games. With that amazing achievement the 19 year old Neil, became the first British male athlete to win a gold on snow.
The brothers finished with a time of 1:08.91 nearly 0.5 seconds ahead of the rest of the field.
The Get Kids Going! supported athlete was competing in his first ever Paralympic Games. He said “I am just really thrilled, it’s not really sunk in yet. This is our first season doing Super-G. Initially when we came down and Andrew said we had gone in to first place, there was a bit of an anxious wait.
“I wasn’t thinking about it being a winning performance, I was just thinking that it was a good run. We put it all down on the line and really went for it and I’m just very happy with the performance – it felt good. There was a sketchy moment coming into the bowl but we knew we needed to get back on it and really went for it down the bowl, so I’m really happy with that.”
On receiving his medal Neil spoke about skiing with his brother, “It’s very special, we’ve been skiing together for quite a while, and growing up together, it just makes it really special.
“For me it definitely helps having Andrew with me, you are able to be very clear and concise in what you want – even direct and blunt sometimes, so you can get feedback across a lot easier. You don’t have to beat around the bush so that definitely helps, we grew up together so we know what each other is thinking anyway.”
On the opening day Neil had already had a fantastic start to his first ever Paralympic Games. He finished seventh in the men’s Visually Impaired downhill. Neil is guided by his brother Andrew, with a time of 1:17.13 in only his second ever downhill race.
“It was really exciting, I’m very pleased with how we went,” said Neil. “I felt we had carried on from the training and we delivered well on that. Usually, I am pretty nervous before I race but not much was going through my head at the start, which was surprising. I’ve really enjoyed my experience here so far and to be doing it with Andrew makes it that bit more special – it’s an experience we will cherish for a long time to come.
“With more training I think we can go pretty far in downhill. I’ve enjoyed it so far – I was pretty nervous before I started but now I just want to get more training under me and go from there – I’m really looking forward to racing the Super G on the same hill.”
With the Get Kids Going! team medal tally looking strong after Menna Fitzpatrick won a silver medal and Millie Knight won a bronze medal we are so excited to be cheering on all of the team. On Sunday we heard the news that Get Kids Going!’s supported athlete snowboarder, James Barnes-Miller, is through to Monday’s Para Snowboard SB-UL final.
Watch out for more of our coverage of the Winter Paralympics and visit our homepage to find out more about the Get Kids Going! team at the Winter Paralympics 2022.