Broadstairs Paralympic snowboarder James Barnes-Miller set for Winter Games

James Barnes-Miller

Former East Kent College student James Barnes-Miller is in Pyeongchang, South Korea preparing for his event in the Paralympic Games.

For the first time in its history, Great Britain will have representation in snowboard at the Games after the sport made its debut at Sochi 2014. There are two medal events; snowboard cross and banked slalom.

James is one of two GB contenders to be selected in the classification for athletes with upper-limb impairments.

This section competes on Monday, March 12 and Friday, March 16.

Former St George’s student James won two World Cup silver medals in Tahoe, California, last year and has been ranked 4th in the world in Snowboard Cross and 9th in Banked Slalom following championships in Tahoe and in Canada.

His place on the team looked uncertain after thieves broke into his van in Manchester and stole vital equipment needed by James to compete in the qualifiers.

Despite the setback he managed to secure his place.

James was born without his right hand, but this has not prevented him excelling in extreme sport.

He started out skateboarding, and then working, at Revolution in Broadstairs as well as surfing and rock climbing. Then five years ago James discovered a talent for snowboarding during a holiday in Bulgaria.

During a trip to Landgraff in 2015 James had a chance meeting with Owen Pick, one of the British Paralympic snowboard team, who advised him to contact Simon Nicholson, head coach.

He was invited to train with the aim to qualify for the team and has not looked back since.

The 2018 Winter Paralympics will be held from 9 to 18 March. Find the schedule here