Elite Squad

The Elite Squad athletes are predominantly full-time and will spend upwards of 30 weeks of the year on snow training and competing.

This year's programme will see them visiting Holland, Austria, the USA, France, Switzerland and Italy before finishing the season in March 2015 with the World Championships in Panorama, Canada.

Mick Brennan
Classification: LW12-2 (Sitting)
Age: 35
Sponsors: Supacat, CSDST
Website: eximusventurecapital.com
Twitter: @MonoSkiMick
Facebook: www.facebook.com/monoskimick

In November 2006, whilst serving with his regiment in Iraq, Mick lost both his legs and suffered brain damage in a suicide bomb attack. In March 2008, as part of his rehabilitation programme at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre at Headley Court, Mick started to learn adaptive skiing. A combination of natural ability and determination soon meant that he was selected to join the Combined Services Disabled Ski Team (CSDST) and from there he was selected to the BDST.

Mick's all out style has led to many a spectacular crash but also to increasing success. After suffering a serious wrist injury whilst training in September 2013, Mick recovered in time to be selected to the Great Britain team for the Sochi Winter Paralympics. He had an excellent Games finishing 8th in the Super Combined, 10th in Super-G and 14th in Giant Slalom.
Kelly Gallagher and Charlotte Evans (Guide)

Paralympic ChampionsClassification: B3 (Visually Impaired)

Age: 29 (Kelly), 23 (Charlotte)

Website: www.kelly-gallagher.co.uk/

Twitter: @Kellygallagher
Facebook: facebook.com/KellyandCharlotte

Kelly and her guide Charlotte became Great Britain's first ever Gold medal winners on snow at either the Paralympics or Olympics when they won the Womens Visually Impaired Super-G at Sochi 2014.

This fantastic achievement capped a great few years that has seen the pair rise to the top of their sport.

Kelly joined British Disabled Ski Team in the 2008/09 season and with her first guide, Claire Robb, was selected to the Great Britain team for the 2010 Winter Paralympic Games in Vancouver, Canada. The pair were placed 6th in Slalom and 4th in Giant Slalom. After Claire retired, Kelly teamed up with Charlotte and they had immediate success, winning a Silver in Slalom and a Bronze in Giant Slalom at the 2011 World Championships,  the first time a British skier has achieved a medal at this level.

Since then they have won medals in all disciplines at both Europa Cup and World Cup levels as well as two more Silver and two more Bronze medals at the 2013 World Championships and a Gold in the Slalom at the World Cup Finals.

Kelly and Charlotte were both awarded the MBE in the June 2014 Queens Birthday Honours List.
Ben Sneesby
 Classification: LW12-1 (Sitting)
Age: 20
Website: www.bensneesby.com
Twitter: @ben_sneesby

Ben was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer, at the age of three months. After many lifesaving operations and a course of chemotherapy the tumour was removed, however he was left with a spinal cord injury, no sensation in his left leg and only partial sensation in his right leg.

Ben started skiing at the age of eleven and took to the sport very quickly. By the time he was thirteen he had been spotted by the BDST management team and was invited to become one of the first members of the BDST Youth Development Squad.

Once he finished his A Levels, Ben focussed full time on his skiing and was selected to the Great Britain team for the 2014 Winter Paralympics. He made his debut in the Slalom and finished an impressive 11th despite being one of the last skiers to race on a course that was in terrible condition. He was less successful the the Giant Slalom where he crashed out on the 2nd run.

Ben is in his first year studying Sports Science at Sheffield Hallam University.
James Whitley
Classification: LW5/7-3 (Standing)
Age: 16

James is from Sussex and Northern Ireland and is the youngest member of the Elite team. He has been skiing since the age of four and has represented both Courchevel, where he trains, and his school in able bodied competitions, winning six cups.

He has risen rapidly through the ranks since being recruited to the BDST and is World Cup qualified in Slalom and Giant Slalom. In February 2012, James won his first senior medals, coming 2nd  in Giant Slalom and 3rd in Slalom at the Italian National Championships. 2013 saw him finish 11th in his first World Cup Slalom and enter his first major championships, the World Championships in La Molina, where he finished 16th in the Giant Slalom. He finished his season by winning his first senior medal, a Bronze in GS at Chamrousse, France.

He was selected to the Great Britain team for the 2014 Sochi Paralympics and performed fantastically, finishing 15th in the Slalom and 14th in Giant Slalom despite being one of the youngest competitors in the race.