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Introducing Ruth and Tyler Charleston

March 13, 2017

Llanelli teenage twins Ruth and Tyler Charleston will be flying the flag for Wales at the World Winter Special Olympic Games starting in Schladming, Austria on March 18th. The girls started skiing with their school, Heol Goffa Special School at Pembrey Ski Slope, which is where they now do the majority of their training, three times a week. Their training also includes endurance cycling rides of 30-miles a week, regular gym sessions as well as skiing with the school and West Wales Ski Club. The girls' handicap of Speech Dyspraxia and global delay has not hindered their ability to ski in any way. Being announced as Olympians is a fantastic achievement for the both the twins and for their foster parents, Ron and Jacqueline Cant and of course their school. They are the only Welsh competitors from 3,500 representing 1110 countries from around the world.

Charleston Twins.png

Tyler was first to be selected for the games, in January 2016, with Ruth only just missing out and being named first reserve in the Great Britain Alpine Skiing Squad of eight. Then in February this year one of the English competitors damaged cruciate ligaments during training and Ruth was called up to compete. Fortunately, Ruth had already been accompanying her sister to training events all over the country, including the snowdomes at Milton Keynes and Hull, so she was well prepared! 

When speaking of the twins, proud foster dad Ron said: "they've become local celebrities in recent weeks with TV news breaking about their joint selection! It's wonderful that people realise how empowering sport can be, not only for the physically able but for people with disabilities and learning difficulties too. Tyler and Ruth came to us nearly seven years ago as shy, frightened and retiring Merthyr children who had tragically lost both parents. Since moving to Llanelli they have shown a great passion for sport of all kinds, including cycling, swimming, netball and of course skiing, which they have taken to with great panache! It is tremendous that they are now competing together in both the Giant Slalom and Slalom events. They are so competitive with each other, they will be pushing each other to the limits in proper Browley Brothers fashion. You cannot underestimate the enormity of the challenge facing them, especially when competing against skiers who train on snow all winter. While Tyler was skiing in Schladming in February she was announced as the Carmarthenshire Disability Sports Woman of the Year and Ruth is determined to knock her off that pedestal by winning a brighter coloured medal than her at the games!" 

While Ruth is staying focused on the medals (and quite rightly so!), her sister is just excited to be taking all of the event in, saying: "It has been a lot of hard work. It's great to be recognised in the street. I am so glad my sister is with me. We have never been separated for more than a week so it was going to be tough for me without her for more than two weeks of training and competition. At the moment I'm not really thinking about medals, I am just so proud to be competing."

The opening ceremony and event are being covered on BT Sports at the end of the week. We wish them the best of luck and we'll keep you posted on their progress!

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