Hill reveals social media silence propelled him to bronze in snowboarding history


Stoked Ollie Hill believes blocking social media buzz is key to completing British Paralympic history in Beijing.

The Reading star, 32, became the first British female snowboarder to win a Paralympic medal after a stunning first run in Friday’s banked slalom.

Hill, who had his right leg amputated in 2018 and only broke into the British team two years later, stopped the clock in 1:10.45 to secure a place on the podium ahead of team-mate SB -LL2 Owen Pick.

The Berkshire ace turned off his phone for most of his time in Beijing and said the sound of silence helped him to his surprise success.

“I haven’t had my phone on for the past few weeks,” he said.

“I only sent people close to me this [Chinese] number on which we are here.

“They all know who they are, but to be honest, I haven’t activated my Instagram.

“To be honest, it’s been pretty nice not having social media for a few weeks – but as soon as I get home I think it’s going to get a little wild.

“It’s been amazing and I’m so happy to be here. I’m a bit surprised by this as I was on a mission just to get here in the first place.

“Just to think I could walk away with a real piece of silverware and pull it out of the bag for Britain – I can’t believe it or even put it into words.”

Hill has always had a passion for snow sports and first put on a pair of skis when he was just four years old while on a family vacation.

But his attention soon turned to snowboarding as he juggled the sport alongside a promising career as a motocross racer as a teenager.

That all changed in December 2018, however, when a 29-year-old Hill was involved in a serious car accident and forced to have his right leg amputated below the knee.

Hill refused to let adversity hold him back and after joining the GB Snowsport program in 2020, he took fourth place in banked slalom at the World Championships in January before reaching the Paralympic snowboard cross quarter-finals on Monday .

And then came that brilliant banked slalom four days later, winning a medal before he even started his second run behind local favorite Qi Sun and Finnish outfielder Matti Suur-Hamari and ahead of teammate Pick by just 0. .19 sec.

“The first race took the pressure off and made all the difference,” added Hill, one of more than 1,000 athletes able to train full-time, have access to the best coaches in the world and benefit cutting edge technology, science and medical support through life support. Financing of the National Lottery.

“I tried to push, push, push for gold – but as soon as I got through the first four or five corners I felt it was a bit slower.

“Everyone knows exactly what this means to me – I bet my sisters are on the phone with each other right now crying.

“They’ve helped me through it all so much, so they’ll definitely be the ones to cry a little bit.

“And my old man and mum will be proud, I’m sure – I can’t wait to talk to them later.”

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