Skier Ben scoops silver - twice - in Special Olympics

Ben Pollard at the National Special Ski Olympics SUS-160604-101352001
Ben Pollard at the National Special Ski Olympics SUS-160604-101352001

A young man with Down’s Syndrome has proved himself a top athlete - by gaining two silver medals in the Special Olympics.

Ben Pollard, 33, took part in the national Alpine skiing section of the games at Serre Chevalier in the French Alps after first taking up skiing just seven years ago.

His father Piers, of Queensway, Horsham, said this week that along with the two silver medals, Ben also scooped a sixth place medal.

“He’s very proud of it,” he added.

Piers explained that more than 100 disabled athletes took part in the Special Olympics, which unlike the Paralympics, is for those suffering from intellectual disabilities such as Down’s, autism or who are deaf or blind.

“It’s quite an uplifting experience to be with these athletes,” said Piers.

Alpine skiing is recognised as one of the top Special Olympics’ sports.

Ben trained with Disability Snowsports UK for three years and took part in regional championships on dry ski slopes at Bromley and Aldershot.

As well as skiing, Ben enjoys cycling and swimming - and is now hoping for a place at the World Special Ski Olympics next year.

Ben lives for part of the week in supported living accommodation in Bognor and works at Ferring Country Centre where he leads disabled riders.