A YOUNG figure skater from Skipton has overcome challenges with her disability and will be going for gold in two Special Olympics events.

Jennifer Lee, 24, who has trained at Bradford Ice Arena for the last ten years, has been selected to compete in the 2022 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Kazan, Russia.

Jenny, a former pupil at South Craven School in Cross Hills, will compete in the level three figure skating singles category and in a pairs event with Callum Mills, a young man from Chesterfield who has charge syndrome and is deaf.

Her mother, Helena Lee, said: "Jenny was quite normal when she was born, but then at nine months we noticed she wasn't able to sit up. At three, wasn't able to walk.

"The doctor said her development was delayed and she also has a hearing impairment.

Jenny was diagnosed with polymicrogyria and she received cochlear implants when she was 11.

Mrs Lee said: "When she was at primary school, we tried a lot of different sports with her, but everybody else was better at everything.

"But she loved music and loved ice skating, said Mrs Lee. "Although ice skating was hard at first. Her coaches taught to get back up and try again. She persevered and soon found out that she was better at it than everybody else."

Her years of figure skating training at Bradford Ice Arena under the guidance of coach Adrian Jack paid off and Jenny was selected to compete at the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Graz, Austria.

Jenny finished fourth in the figure skating singles at Graz.

"She enjoyed every moment of it," said Mrs Lee. "It's not just about winning a medal. There's so much more to the Olympics like meeting with other athletes."

One of the athletes she met there was Callum Mills.

"They started skating together," said Mrs Lee. "They won gold at English Inclusive Skating Championships which qualified them to skate together in Russia in 2022. Jenny also won two golds there in the singles."

Because of lockdown and not being able to compete at closed ice arenas, training has proved to be an interesting challenge for Jenny.

"She been skating using an off ice skate with wheels and we've had to push the table out of the way in the kitchen.

"Skating was such a big part of Jenny's life that it has also affected her socially and mentally as well. but our mantra is 'no ice, no problem'.

"She's also been doing conditioning exercises over Zoom to build up her core strength."

Ever since Jenny competed at the Special Olympics in Graz, Austria, Mrs Lee said: "What could she do next?"

That question was answered when Jenny's perseverance and achievements in skating led to her winning the 2017Young Achievers in Sports Award.

Mrs Lee said: "It just goes to show anyone with a learning disability can live a full life and achieve."