Who needs Macca when you've got a medal?

22:25, Aug 22 2013
Heather Mills and Melanie Schwartz
Winners on the day, Heather Mills of Great Britain and Melanie Schwartz of the USA.
Heather Mills
Heather Mills of Great Britain kisses first place winner Melanie Schwartz.
Heather Mills
Heather Mills puts in a silver medal-winning performance.
Heather Mills
Happy with that, Silver satisfies Heather Mills.

Heather Mills, Sir Paul McCartney's ex-wife, has won silver on the slopes of Coronet Peak, edging her closer to becoming a paralympian.

On the Winter Games podium in Queenstown yesterday she kissed the winner of the women's slalom standing race event, American Melanie Schwartz.

Schwartz, ranked No 16, skis on the World Cup circuit and was the torch bearer for the last Winter Paralympic Games in Vancouver.

She put on a strong showing at the IPC Adaptive World Cup slalom to score a combined result of 1.59.79 ahead of Mills, ranked 28th, who clocked 2.09.09 to win the silver.

Mills joined the British Development Team in 2010 and has only recently taken up the technical discipline of slalom.

New Zealand was in the limelight when Paralympian Adam Hall took out the gold in the men's standing slalom and team-mate Corey Peters won silver in the sitting slalom.


The event was one of two back-to-back World Cup slaloms being staged at the event and attracted a top field of athletes from around the world chasing qualification points for the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014.

Forty-two men and women competed in the challenging event on the Rocky Gully Race Arena which was divided into three categories - slalom visually impaired, slalom standing and slalom sitting.Hall said he was pleased to be able to win gold in his own backyard.

"I'm particularly excited to win the Winter Games NZ title. It is great to have the opportunity to ski at home and it was a world-class course. It was bit of a rodeo ride in the first run but the second improved. I still have a lot of work to do heading to Sochi but it's good to be under way for the season," he said.

The women's visually impaired title went to No 12 in the world, Staci Mannella and guide Kim Seevers, of the United States, in 2.01.11 edging out team-mate Danielle Umstead, ranked 8th, and guide Robert Umstead in 2.02.69.

Third place went to the world No 5, the British team of Jade Etherington and guide Caroline Powell in 2.09.22.World No 4 Stephani Victor, of the US, was outstanding in both runs in the women's sitting event to win the title in 1.54.38, ahead of fellow American Laurie Stephens in 2.01.54.

The Southland Times