Scott Meenagh brought the curtain down on his maiden Paralympic Winter Games but not before pulling one more heroic effort out of the bag in PyeongChang.
The Para Nordic skier, who had declared he was representing not only himself and ParalympicsGB but also the sport as a whole in South Korea, duly delivered on his promise at the Alpensia Biathlon Centre.
Meenagh has competed in six gruelling races this week but showed he still had one last burst in the tank, coming 14th in the men’s sitting 7.5km cross country.
Crossing the line and collapsing onto the snow symbolised everything the 28-year-old had thrown into this week – a challenge he would undertake all over again.
“I’m buzzing, over the moon, I’m sad that was the last one but I couldn’t be happier with that result, I felt like I gave it 100 per cent, a really nice, honest account of myself,” he said of his sixth race in just eight days.
“That was everything I had to give, I left it all out there and that was all I could ask of myself coming into this Paralympic Games.
“Just look at the size of that field and the calibre of athlete that’s in it, to be up in the rankings this late in the week is something that’s extremely pleasing, long may that continue.
“It’s going to take me a while to come down from cloud nine – if you gave me a couple days of rest then I’d be wanting to do this all over again.”
Para alpine skiing
James Whitley arrived in PyeongChang as a slalom lover and will leave feeling much the same way after securing his second top ten finish of the Games.
Opening with a downhill tenth a week ago, a repeat performance on Saturday nicely book-ends what’s been a consistent performance throughout for the 20-year-old, with his two slalom runs totalling 1:44.41.
Four years ago in Sochi he was a youngster on the team, just 16-years-old but with his second Games and all five races now completed, Whitley is certain those experiences have helped him this time round.
He said: “I’m really pleased I would have loved to have gone a bit deeper in the top ten but overall I am really happy to come out and have finished all five races and had some good results in the process so the hard work has paid off.
“I think these Games show where I can improve and what I need to do going forward in training looking ahead to Beijing 2022.
“I’ve enjoyed these Games so much. Last time, although it was an amazing experience, I had to try and take it all in, whereas this time I knew what to expect.
“I’ve gone into the races not nervous and confident on what my plan is and I’ve been able to do as well as I can do.”
The PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games come to a close tomorrow with the women’s slalom being the final event for ParalympicsGB.
Report courtesy of Paralympics GB