16. Millie Knight; Blind Paralympic Skier on Russia, South Korea, Travel Photography and Crashing at High Speed - The Big Travel Podcast

Episode 16
May 7 , 2018

16. Millie Knight; Blind Paralympic Skier on Russia, South Korea, Travel Photography and Crashing at High Speed

Millie can tell exactly what type of snow she’s on by the swish of her sighted-guide’s skis. Since losing her sight aged 6 she relies on what she can hear, feel and sense – whether finding her way to class at school or whizzing downhill at over 115kph seeing only the blurred bright orange flash of her guide in front. Still only 19 she’s competed in two winter Paralympics, winning two silver medals in South Korea, and sees the world through her travel photography. She’s an absolute inspiration. 

On this episode we cover: 

Doctor Millie! Doctor of the University Kent for her Commitment to Sport

Sochi Paralympics age 15

This year’s winter Paralympics in South Korea age 19

How it feels to speed downhill blind

How she lost her sight age 6

Struggling with ball sports

Why she got into skiing

Does she ever get scared

Crashing at over 71mph/ 115kmph

Almost suffocating in the crash barriers

The serious crash that left her off snow for 6 months

Being terrified of getting back out on the snow

Learning to conquer her fear in Chile

Seeing not much more than Brett’s luminous orange jacket

Communicating via headset

The challenge of the slalom

Finding out the texture of the snow by the sound of her partner’s skis

Being in hospital in South Korea

Beautiful South Korean villages and temples

Her love of photography

How photography helps her see

Her inspirational photography teacher

Her London exhibition – The Camera Doesn’t Know I Can’t See

Wifi and heated seats in South Korea

How it felt to lose her sight age 6

Loving the way she sees the world

How she wouldn’t change her sight for the world

Skinning rabbits at school in Kent

Visiting 16 countries just this season

Spending 7 months of the year away

Overnight snow falls 4m deep in Chile

French ski resorts having too much snow

Training in Canada

Training Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Holland (indoor!)

Indoor skiing in Holland and Germany

The challenges of travelling as a visually impaired person

Relying on public transport

The impact of London 2012 Olympics on disability awareness

Being inspired by London 2012

The helpful general public

The friendliness of busy cities

How it felt to carry the flag at the Paralympics in Sochi

Her plans to leave home for university

How sport has taught her discipline

How she learns her way around by feeling the ground, counting the steps

How travel inspires her photography

Relying on her other senses

Recognising people by their walk

Her fascination for psychology

A unexpectedly long train journey from Austria to Venice

The beauty of Venice

Her awareness of the sights and sounds and smells and bustle

Her plans to tour Ireland

Loving the Irish accent

Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Belfast

Her obsession with the band the Script

Inspired by the song that was inspired by the Paralympics