Talan Skeels-Piggins

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Talan Skeels-Piggins
Paralympic 2010 - Alpine skiing - Talan Skeels-Piggins.jpg
At the 2010 Winter Paralympics
Personal information
Nationality British
Born (1970-09-10) 10 September 1970 (age 46)
Country Great Britain
Sport Alpine skiing

Talan Skeels-Piggins (born 10 September 1970 in Bath, Somerset) is a World Champion 600cc (Paralysed category) and British alpine skier. Skeels-Piggins uses a sit-ski in competitions.

Skeels-Piggins is a former Royal Navy fighter controller and PE teacher at St Laurence School, Bradford On Avon. 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.[1]

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.[1] After his accident he chose to start skiing using a sit-ski with the goal of competing at the Paralympics.[2] 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.[1]

By 2008 he had reached a world ranking of 5th in the downhill event.[3] 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.[4]

In 2010 he won two bronze medals at the NorAm Cup in Kimberly, Canada to secure his qualification for the 2010 Winter Paralympics.[5] 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.[6]

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.

2011 Talan became the first paraplegic in the history of motor-racing to gain an ACU 'Hill-Climb and Sprint' Race Licence and compete against able bodied racers in solo motorcycles.

2011 Talan was Awarded Honorary Masters (Education) from University of Chichester for Outstanding Sporting Achievement and continued Education Development in Schools, Colleges and Universities.

2012 Talan became the first paraplegic in the history of motor-racing to gain an ACU Road Race licence and compete against able-bodies racers. Race held at Snetterton on 23/24 June 2012 with Club Thundersport, taking part in the Minitwin Class on a modified Suzuki SV650. Came 12th out of 38 in 2012 Minitwin Championship.

2013 Silver Medal in IPC NorAm Adaptive SBX Competition. Becomes first Monoskier to win IPC medals in both Alpine and Adaptive SBX races.

2015 World Champion 600cc (Paralysed category) at Bridgestone World Cup in Vallelunga, Italy. Also took 2nd place 600cc (all disabled categories).

Skeels-Piggins is a qualified teacher and formerly taught physical education at St Laurence, Bradford on Avon.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Profile "Profile" Check |url= value (help) (PDF). British Disabled Ski Team. Retrieved 26 May 2010. 
  2. ^ "Paralympian skier". BBC. Retrieved 26 May 2010. 
  3. ^ "Going for gold" (PDF). Tribe. September 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 July 2011. Retrieved 26 May 2010. 
  4. ^ "Skeels-Piggins qualifies for Paralympic super-G event". BBC. 19 February 2010. Retrieved 26 May 2010. 
  5. ^ David Jordan (15 March 2010). "Skeels-Piggins overcomes hardest of journeys to reach Vancouver 2010". morethanthegames.co.uk. Archived from the original on 18 March 2010. Retrieved 26 May 2010. 
  6. ^ Results for Skeels-Piggins from the International Paralympic Committee

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