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ELWES Sophie
Sport Para alpine skiing
NPC Great Britain   
GenderWomen
Age34
Place of BirthLondon, ENG
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Type of Impairment
Spinal Cord Injuries
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
LW10-1
Further Personal Information
Residence
London, ENG
Occupation
Athlete, Coordinator
Languages
English
Higher education
Sociology - University of Leeds: England
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
She began the sport in 2012 at a sit-ski course in Winter Park, CO, United States of America.
Why this sport?
She attended a sit-ski course through the Back Up Trust charity. "This experience changed my life and ignited a passion for sit-skiing, something I never realised was possible after my injury." In 2016 she was spotted by one of the head coaches of the British Para ski team and was invited to train with them.
Senior International Debut
Year
2016
Competing for
Great Britain
Location
Park City, UT, USA
General Interest
Hobbies
Spending time with friends, waterskiing, tennis, going to the theatre. (sophieelwes.com, 30 Sep 2016; Athlete, 17 Jun 2016)
Injuries
She broke several ribs in 2017. (sophieelwes.com, 06 Jul 2017)
Other sports
She represented Great Britain in Para waterskiing at the 2019 World Championships in Skarnes, Norway. She has also competed at national level in the United Kingdom in Para wakeboarding. (sophieelwes.com, 30 Sep 2016; LinkedIn profile, 01 May 2020)
Impairment
She has quadriplegia as the result of falling seven metres off a terrace at age 22. "In February 2011 I was out on the roof terrace at my friend's house, when I lost my balance and fell more than six-and-a-half metres. I sustained injuries to my back as well as a bad head injury and was in intensive care for five weeks in an induced coma. I was lucky to be alive. Once I was out of the coma, I couldn't feel anything from the chest down." (sophieelwes.com, 30 Sep 2016; Athlete, 17 Jun 2016; aspirechannelswim.co.uk, 19 Sep 2016)
Other information
RETIREMENT
In 2018 she stopped competing in Para alpine skiing to focus on other commitments, including Para waterskiing. "When I first came to Winter Park [Colorado, United States of America] I met an amazing girl called Beth Requist who was a Paralympian who competed at [the 2014 Games in] Sochi in cross-country skiing. After a few years, she decided to finish off racing and during my final season, we were out one evening drinking margaritas and eating tacos at a place in Winter Park. I was contemplating finishing off ski racing and we were both thinking about what was next. We were chatting about the world, what we enjoyed, what was important to us and what we wanted to do with our lives. We both loved adventures and travelling so we decided to set up a blog called 'Our Adaptive World' through which we showcased the adventures we went on as a resource for other people with disabilities to inspire and inform them about what was possible. I loved skiing, loved travelling and loved meeting so many like-minded people from all over the world. We all shared a passion of going down snowy and often icy hills as fast as we could, either using a guide, in a monoski, or with outriggers. I knew in my heart of hearts that it was time for this chapter to finish." (LinkedIn profile, 01 May 2020; dailymail.co.uk, 29 Mar 2019; sloactive.com, 27 Aug 2020; audacitymagazine.com, 14 Sep 2020)

OCCUPATION
She works as a spinal cord injury mentoring co-ordinator for the Back Up Trust, a British charity that provides support and information to people who have sustained spinal cord injuries. (LinkedIn profile, 01 Jun 2017; Athlete, 17 Jun 2016)

OTHER ACTIVITIES
She hosts a podcast called 'A Life Less Ordinary', in which she interviews individuals who have overcome exceptional challenges in life. "I decided to start a podcast to interview some of these incredible people. As I had seen and experienced how those people were able to rise up and overcome this adversity. It was important for me to make it relatable. Many of these people had been through experiences most of us will never go through. Their advice would help listeners who were facing challenges of their own." (audacitymagazine.com, 14 Sep 2020)

FURTHER EDUCATION
She studied for a postgraduate certificate in education [PGCE] in primary school teaching at University College London in England between 2012 and 2015. (LinkedIn profile, 01 May 2020)

Competition Highlights (historical)
There are no major results available for this athlete.