Lincolnshire Winter Paralympian Jade Etherington has announced her decision to retire from competitive Alpine Skiing, along with her guide Caroline Powell.

Jade, 23, is the most successful British Winter Paralympian of all time having won three silver medals and a bronze at the Winter Olympics in Sochi earlier this year. She was also the first woman to win a paralympic skiing medal for Britain.

Her heroics led to her being given the freedom of Bourne, her home town, as well as an honorary degree from Anglia Ruskin University and an honorary fellowship from Bishop Grosseteste University – where she once studied.

However, the visually-impaired skier and Lincoln resident spoke of her “tough decision” as to whether she would be competing at the next winter games soon after returning from Russia due to funding issues.

Jade said in a statement: “We will be sad to leave the Paralympic Alpine Skiing programme and we will both miss our sport and athletes on the team and circuit.”

“I have improved my skiing ability the most within the last six months since Caroline has become my guide, something that was reflected in the success that we had together in Sochi which I will never forget.”

“Caroline and I are Britain’s most successful Winter Paralympians, with four medals from our first games, and we really hope to inspire more people to enjoy skiing as a result.”

“It is hard for me to sum up my last six years on the team but I have enjoyed my time, from my personal and athlete development to making some friends for life.”

Jade will now focus on her training to become a Geography teacher.

“Caroline and I now wish to follow different paths which we feel will be more fulfilling for us in the long term: Caroline with her instructing in Switzerland, while I would like to complete my qualification as a teacher and increase my motivational speaking.”

By Nathan Hill

Featured image: Dave via Flickr