Army ParalympicsGB Para-Nordic skier Scott Meenagh

Army Veteran To Become First ParalympicsGB​​​​​​​ Para-Nordic Skier In 20 Years

British Army veteran Scott Meenagh has been selected to the ParalympicsGB team for this year's Winter Games...

Army ParalympicsGB Para-Nordic skier Scott Meenagh

British Army veteran Scott Meenagh has been selected for the ParalympicsGB team for this year's Winter Games.

The 28-year-old from Cumbernauld, in North Lanarkshire, Scotland, will become the first UK athlete to compete in Para-Nordic skiing since 1998.

It will be a Paralympic Winter Games debut for Meenagh, a double-leg amputee who was injured whilst on active service in Afghanistan at the age of 21, with his selection meaning ParalympicsGB will be represented in a historic five sports.

Army ParalympicsGB Para-Nordic skier Scott Meenagh

UK athletes will take part in Alpine skiing, snowboarding, wheelchair curling and the two disciplines of Nordic skiing: cross country and biathlon.

Britain's previous highest number of Winter Paralympic sports was four, in 1994 and 1998.

Meenagh, meanwhile, was encouraged to try Para-Nordic skiing after getting a taste of winter sport during Sochi 2014, which he experienced as part of the Paralympic Inspiration Programme.

He previously competed in Para-rowing at an international level, making the switch to Nordic skiing in March 2016. He said:

"It's an incredible feeling to know my name is on the team sheet and that I'm set to achieve my goal of representing Great Britain at a Paralympic Games."

"I can't wait to get out to South Korea to compete and I'm determined to give my very best performance.

"I've totally fallen in love with this sport and I hope that I will encourage others to follow me so that we can develop Para-Nordic skiing further for Beijing 2022."

Penny Briscoe OBE, Chef de Mission for ParalympicsGB, said: "I'm absolutely delighted for Scott and I'd like to congratulate him on his selection to the team.

"He is a talented athlete who has made impressive progress since he started competing on snow and I look forward to cheering him on in South Korea.

Army ParalympicsGB Para-Nordic skier Scott Meenagh

"His development in the sport is also testament to the support and commitment from Help for Heroes and the Armed Forces Para Snowsport Team and I'd like to thank them for their work to help get Scott to the start line in PyeongChang."

The British Paralympic Association (BPA) announcement takes the number of athletes currently selected for ParalympicsGB to 17.

It takes the number of Armed Forces personnel and veterans to be represented to five, meanwhile.

Last week it was announced that the RAF's Gary Smith, 33, has been selected to guide visually impaired skier and reigning Paralympic champion Kelly Gallagher MBE in Pyeongchang.

Alpine Paralympic skier Kelly Gallagher & guide Charlotte Evans in 2013
Gallagher (right) with previous guide Charlotte Evans at the 2013 International Paralympic Committee World Championships. Picture: Raystorm

The pair will compete at the Games alongside teammates Millie Knight and Menna Fitzpatrick, who race with their guides Brett Wild, of the Royal Navy, and the Army's Jennifer Kehoe.

That means each of the ParalympicsGB ski guides has been drawn from a different military service.

Completing the forces contingent, meanwhile, is Owen Pick, an Afghanistan veteran who lost a limb to an IED at the age of 18, who has become part of the first Great Britain Para-snowboarding squad to compete at a Winter Paralympics.

All sports will come together on Thursday to celebrate their selection to the team before the athletes begin to depart for South Korea.

The PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games take place from March 9-18.

More: The British Forces Athletes Who'll Be Competing In The Winter Olympics