Chris Hunt Skelley Chases Gold. 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 he’s achieved exactly that.
The 30-year-old fought hard throughout the competition in Rotterdam in the Netherlands. He lost out on gold by a narrow margin, 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. It was so special to have all the different types of sport there and to feel the kind of atmosphere that it will be like, I trust, in Paris 2024.
Said Chris: ‘It was such an honour 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’s wonderful to be alongside all these fantastic athletes. The Paralympic Games, paralympic sport in general, is here to take over the world. It will 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.
Visually impaired Chris took gold at Toky02020 in judo. He’s training hard to qualify for Paris2024 to go for gold again. He took up the sport at an elite level after being discovered competing in judo while wearing a blindfold.
blindfolded. And winning against sighted competitors.
Chris received a diagnosis of ocular albinism at the age of nineteen. That meant he had to abandon his apprenticeship as a mechanic and had to give up team sport. But he persevered through his passion for judo and that led to the spotting of his potential as a paralympian.
Since then he’s been competing in major championships across the globe representing Great Britain. He’s the world’s leading Judoka with a visual impairment.