1 minute 28.72 seconds was all it took for Co Down athlete Kelly Gallagher to make history by winning gold for Paralympics GB for the first time in the Winter Paralympics.

Kelly Gallagher and her guide Charlotte Evans secured the gold medal in the Super-G Slalom this morning (Monday 10 March 2014). They were first out on the course so had a nerve-racking wait for the rest of the event to see if their time had been matched by other competitors.

Kelly is supported by Sport Northern Ireland and she also works closely with Sports Institute of Northern Ireland (SINI) where she has received support for the last five years. Kelly bases herself at SINI for part of the year and works with various SINI practitioners including Strength and Conditioning, Sports Medicine, Physiology and the Planning unit. When Kelly is competing or at training events SINI physiotherapists and Performance Skills coach will often travel with her to support her.

Throughout the course of the weekend the girls have kept in touch with Sports Institute Northern Ireland Performance Skills Coach Kelley Fay who has worked closely with them since their partnership began in late 2010 and continues to provide support during the Games. This win demonstrates the resolve and determination of the two athletes which has seen them win World Cup and World Championship honours over the last few years, culminating in today’s medal win. They compete again tomorrow morning (Tuesday 11th March) in the Super Combined, on Friday (14th March) in the Slalom and on Sunday (16th March) in the Giant Slalom.

Chief Executive of Sport Northern Ireland Antoinette McKeown warmly welcomed the news of Kelly’s gold medal achievement saying; “We are all absolutely delighted for Kelly. She has worked extremely hard over the last five years with the team at SINI and this gold medal is a fantastic achievement for Kelly and the wider team. Kelly’s passion for her sport and dedication as an athlete has seen a number of successes recently and we are all behind her, particularly for her remaining events at Sochi.”