At the 2010 Winter Paralympics
|Born||10 September 1970|
Skeels-Piggins is a former Royal Navy fighter controller. He was paralysed from the chest down following a motorcycle accident in March 2003, which shattered his spine and broke his neck. After his injury he was retained in the Armed Forces and serves as a Lieutenant in the Royal Naval Reserves.
He began skiing on a family holiday at the age of nine. Whilst in the navy he was captain of the Scotland, Northern England & Northern Ireland Command Team and was placed fourth overall in the Navy Ski Championships. After his accident he chose to start skiing using a sit-ski with the goal of competing at the Paralympics. He was selected to compete for the Great Britain team 14 months after sustaining his injuries and competes in the LW10/1 classification for athletes with paraplegia with no upper abdominal function and no functional sitting balance.
By 2008 he had reached a world ranking of 5th in the downhill event. At the 2009 World Championships in Korea, he finished 31st in the Super-G and improved on that position with a 26th-placed finish at the 2009 World Cup in Whistler.
In 2010 he won two bronze medals at the NorAm Cup in Kimberly, Canada to secure his qualification for the 2010 Winter Paralympics. He competed for Great Britain at the 2010 Winter Paralympics in the men's slalom, giant slalom and Super-G. His best finish was 15th in the giant slalom; he also finished 25th in the Super-G and 31st in the slalom.
Skeels-Piggins is a qualified teacher and formerly taught physical education at St Laurence, Bradford on Avon.
In 2011, together with Russell O'Neill and Halina Tomlinson, Talan founded The Bike Experience, a charity established to help motorcycle riders who are now paraplegic to ride again. Based at Castle Combe circuit in Wiltshire this is free experience for disabled bikers who would like to ride on a racing circuit:
Level 1 teaches the riders how to use the adapted machine, with slow speed work on a closed-off section of the circuit. This is normally followed by Level 2 after a short break.
Level 2 riders take part in track work and the session is spent working on learning the racing line around the circuit, ensuring correct gearing is selected and pressing on to a quick pace.
Level 3 is also a track session focusing on one-on-one tuition with the riders, concentrating on any issues they may have and working towards full confidence in taking part in track days.
- Profile "Profile". British Disabled Ski Team. Retrieved 26 May 2010.
- "Paralympian skier". BBC. Retrieved 26 May 2010.
- "Going for gold". Tribe. September 2008. Retrieved 26 May 2010.
- "Skeels-Piggins qualifies for Paralympic super-G event". BBC. 19 February 2010. Retrieved 26 May 2010.
- David Jordan (15 March 2010). "Skeels-Piggins overcomes hardest of journeys to reach Vancouver 2010". morethanthegames.co.uk. Retrieved 26 May 2010.
- Skeels-Piggins's profile on paralympic.org
- Talan Skeels-Piggins' website
- Profile at the British Disabled Ski Team
- Talan Skeels-Piggins (talansp) on Twitter
- "Piggins Progress" – Talan Skeels-Piggins' blogspot