Skier Jade Etherington to focus on teaching career

Jade Etherington
Jade Etherington
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Bourne’s record-breaking Paralympian Jade Etherington has retired from competitive skiing to focus on her teaching career.

Jade, 23, made the announcement on Wednesday after discussion with her sighted guide Caroline Powell.

Together the pair made history when they won three silver medals and one bronze at this year’s Winter Paralympics in Sochi, Russia.

Jade, who grew up in Bourne and was a pupil at Baston Primary School and the Deepings School, said: “It is hard for me to sum up my last six years on the team but I have enjoyed my time, from my personal and athlete development to making some friends for life.

“I have improved my skiing ability the most within the last six months since Caroline has become my guide, something that was reflected in the success that we had together in Sochi which I will never forget.

“We hope the future team gets the support they deserve and strives toward Pyeongchang 2018.”

Jade and the rest of the Paralympics GB team made headlines across the world for their performances in Sochi. Fellow skiers Kelly Gallagher and her guide Charlotte Evans became the first Brits to win gold at a Winter Paralympics.

But both Jade and Caroline have decided to move on in their lives.

Jade said: “It was an honour to represent Paralympics GB and to make history at the Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympics.

“Caroline and I are Britain’s most successful Winter Paralympians, with four medals from our first games, and we really hope to inspire more people to enjoy skiing as a result. We have both immersed ourselves in ski racing for many years and now we look forward to achieving our goals in other spheres.”

Jade will now focus on finishing her teaching qualifications and continuing her motivational speaking, while Caroline will pursue a career as a ski guide in Switzerland.

Jade added: “We will be sad to leave the Paralympic Alpine Skiing programme and we will both miss our sport and athletes on the team and circuit.”

Jade now lives in Lincoln, where she was a student at Bishop Grosseteste University.

She was granted the freedom of Bourne by the town council in April and was given a grand civic reception. Jade also spent the day visiting schools around the area.

Jade also posted a message on her Facebook page this week, thanking friends and family for their backing on her six-year journey to the Winter Paralympics. She said: “Thank you again for all your support, I will still use this page to post about my journey.”