6 March 2018
Meenagh: "I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved in such a short space of time"
Scott Meenagh won’t just be representing ParalympicsGB when he takes to the start line in PyeongChang – he’ll be there for the whole of para Nordic skiing.
That’s because the Cumbernauld athlete’s maiden Winter Paralympic Games will see Great Britain represented in the discipline for the first time in 20 years, the last coming at Nagano 1998.
It also means Great Britain will be represented in an historic five sports at PyeongChang 2018, with Meenagh’s exploits set to come in both cross-country skiing and biathlon.
Barely two years have passed since the 27-year-old first took up the sport but, with a landmark moment set to come his way, he is keen not to shirk the responsibility.
Meenagh: “It’s one of the toughest sports you can do"
“I keep pinching myself, it probably won’t be until I take to the start line for that first race that I truly realise that I’m part of the Paralympic Games,” he said.
“I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved in such a short space of time, it’s a really special opportunity and I’m very proud to be considered to be on such a tough team.
“It’s one of the toughest sports you can do so to be on the start line alongside some of the best athletes in the world, I’m very proud.
“In a way I’m in a position to do the sport a lot of justice, I’ve got a great opportunity to go out there with a fresh face and showcase what an amazing sport Nordic skiing is.
“It’s tough, it’s physical and hopefully by putting in a really credible performance, I can inspire others to follow me on the way to Beijing 2022.”
The best in the world are very mentally tough, but what they’re also good at is letting go and being clear.
Losing both his legs in a blast while touring Afghanistan, the former paratrooper took up sport as a form of rehabilitation before being part of the Sochi 2014 inspiration programme.
Also a former rower, Meenagh’s competitive debut only came in December 2016, but the subsequent months have brought about a journey longer than even he expected.
In a sport in which he is the sole British representative in PyeongChang, it can often be a lonely progression.
But this Paralympian is certainly ready to embrace the challenges head on.
Meenagh training for the 2017 Invictus Games
“I look within myself to draw that strength and I feel I can use a lot of the lessons I’ve learned along the way, the darker moments that I’ve been in and the strength to get out of them,” he added.
“I feel like I’m mentally tough and when the chips are down and we’re side by side in a race, I feel if I look a little bit deeper inside, I’ll have what it takes to do really, really well in this sport.
“The best in the world are very mentally tough, but what they’re also good at is letting go and being clear.
“Sometimes in a race you might miss a shot, you might have a poor corner and things might not go quite your way, but the ones who can let that go quickly and stay present and focused in the now are the ones that cover best from those mistakes.
“That’s why they end up on the top of the podium so that clarity, that focus, that comfort and chaos while you’re racing is the secret to being a good cross country or biathlon skier.
“I’ve always been drawn to tough sports, I’ve taken a great amount of pride in my ability to be in that tough environment, I always wanted to be at the top of the tree and to be the best.”
17 March 2018
Just the beginning for Meenagh after completing Games debut
16 March 2018
PyeongChang 2018: Meenagh and Whitley bow out with impressive performances
16 March 2018
Meenagh delighted after strong biathlon showing
14 March 2018
Meenagh marginally misses semis in cross-country sprint
13 March 2018
13th placed Meenagh just scratching the surface
11 March 2018
Meenagh manages the moment to put in solid cross-country display
10 March 2018
Meenagh ends 20 year wait for Para Nordic representation
21 February 2018