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THOMAS Stephen
Sport Para biathlon, Para cross-country, Para ice hockey, Sailing
NPC Great Britain   
GenderMen
Age45
Place of BirthBarry, WAL
Height1.86 m
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Type of Impairment
Limb deficiency
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Further Personal Information
Family
Wife Ruth
Residence
Barry, WAL
Occupation
Massage Therapist
Languages
English
Higher education
Development Studies, Sport Studies - Cardiff Metropolitan University: Wales
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
He took up Para Nordic skiing in 2018 in Oberhof, Germany.
Why this sport?
He retired from competitive sport after representing Great Britain in sailing at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. He reversed his decision and decided to pursue a new sport after hearing that GB Snowsport was looking to develop its Para Nordic skiing programme. "One of my colleagues in sailing said Para Nordic skiing are looking to develop a programme and are looking for athletes - would you like to go and try out? So I went and tried it out and loved it."
Club / Team
Cardiff Devils: England
Name of coach
Kieran Jones [national]; Simon Allanson [national]
Training Regime
He trains for between 16 and 20 hours a week.
Senior International Debut
Year
2018 [Para Nordic skiing]
Competing for
Great Britain
Tournament
World Cup
Location
Vuokatti, FIN
General Interest
Nicknames
Steveo, Steve (racer-ready.co.uk, 14 Dec 2018; Athlete, 31 Jul 2016)
Hobbies
Exercising, going to cafes. (Athlete, 05 Mar 2022)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning gold in the three-person mixed keelboat Para sailing event at the world championships in 2006 and 2015, and being selected for the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games. (Athlete, 05 Mar 2022)
Most influential person in career
Coaches Kieran Jones and Simon Allanson. (Athlete, 05 Mar 2022)
Hero / Idol
British rower Steve Redgrave. (Athlete, 05 Mar 2022)
Injuries
In May 2020 he underwent surgery on his leg. (Facebook profile, 30 May 2020; Instagram profile, 14 May 2020)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"The one thing I love about Nordic skiing is that it's just brutal. There are no hiding places - I've always wondered whether I can be an individual athlete and this has given me the opportunity to delve into that." (news.yahoo.com, 28 Feb 2022)
Other sports
He represented Great Britain in Para sailing at four consecutive Paralympic Games between 2004 and 2016, and in ice hockey at the 2006 Paralympic Winter Games in Turin. He competed in Para cross-country skiing at the world championships in 2019 and 2022. (SportsDeskOnline, 01 Mar 2022; Twitter profile, 11 Dec 2018)
Ambitions
To win a medal at the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing. (news.yahoo.com, 28 Feb 2022)
Impairment
Both of his legs were amputated below the knee after he contracted meningococcal septicaemia at age 18. (dailymail.co.uk, 02 Sep 2010)
Other information
SKIING COMEBACK
Having competed in ice hockey at the 2006 Paralympic Winter Games in Turin and in sailing at four Paralympic Games between 2004 and 2016, he decided to retire from competitive sport. However, in 2018 he returned to competition in Para Nordic skiing. "I thought I'd never be in this position again. After retiring after Rio [the 2016 Paralympic Games] I thought life was just going to move on and go into different areas. Then I just had an itch really. Something just wasn't quite right. I missed that competitive element to my life. It's been a challenge. I underestimated the amount of volume required to get you up to standard. The sport is absolutely brutal. But you can take elements from my different experiences in sailing and Para ice hockey and I've brought them into cross-country skiing." (bbc.co.uk, 28 Jan 2022)

DIAGNOSIS
He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes months before he competed in sailing at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. (Twitter profile, 11 Dec 2018; gbsnowsport.com, 01 Dec 2018)

Competition Highlights (historical)
Paralympic Games - Para ice hockey
Rank Year Event Result
7 2006 Team  
World Championship - Para ice hockey
Rank Year Event Result
5 2004 Team  
Paralympic Games (Overall) - Para cross-country
Rank Year Event Result
Qualification 2022 Sprint - Sitting 2:39.3
32 2022 10km - Sitting 44:17.5
12 2022 4 x 2.5km Relay Open 35:27.3
Paralympic Games - Sailing
Rank Year Event Result
5 2012 Three-Person Keelboat 45
9 2016 Three-Person Keelboat 64
World Championships - Para cross-country
Rank Year Event Result
  2018/2019 10km - Sitting  DNS
16 2018/2019 Sprint - Sitting  
21 2021/2022 10km - Sitting 39:40.7
21 2021/2022 Sprint - Sitting  
World Championships - Sailing
Rank Year Event Result
4 2014 Three-Person Keelboat 29.0