Wroughton's Chris Hunt Skelley MBE takes silver on his way to gold

By Jamie Hill - 16 August 2023

Clubs & ActivitiesSport

Chris Hunt Skelley MBE, who won gold in his sport of judo at Tokyo2020 has taken his next steps towards Paris2024 by winning silver at the inaugural European Para Championships.

The 30-year-old fought hard throughout the competition which took place in Rotterdam in the Netherlands and narrowly lost out on gold in a match against a fellow competitor from Georgia in the +90kg class.

Chris said: “The European Para Championships was an incredible experience. It was like a mini-Tokyo, and it was really special to have all the different types of sport there and to feel the kind of atmosphere that it will be like, hopefully, in Paris 2024.

“I was so honoured to represent Great Britain again. It was the best feeling ever to step on that mark knowing that you’re representing new friends and new family. It’s amazing to be able to show the world how disability sport is going to take over. 

“It is wonderful to be alongside all of these fantastic athletes. The Paralympic Games, paralympic sport in general, is here to take over the world and show what you can do even if you have a disability. Disability is your superpower.”

The event involves 1,500 paralympic athletes from 45 countries competing across ten different para sports.

Chris, who is visually impaired, took gold at Toky02020 in judo and he is training hard to qualify for Paris2024 to go for gold again. He took up the sport at an elite level after he was discovered competing in judo while blindfolded – and winning against sighted competitors. 

He had been diagnosed with ocular albinism at the age of 19 which meant he had to abandon his apprenticeship as a mechanic and he had to give up team sport. However he persevered through his passion for judo, was spotted as a potential Paralympian and has been competing in major championships across the globe representing Great Britain and is the world’s leading visually impaired Judoka.

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