Skis a jolly good fel­low

Blind War War II vet­eran Gor­don hits the piste aged 96

Daily Record - - INFO - KEITH McLEOD k.mcleod@dai­lyrecord.co.uk

A BLIND World War II vet­eran has taken up ski­ing after com­plet­ing a 70ft ab­seil and other dare­devil sports.

Adren­a­line junkie Gor­don Mills, who served in the RAF in the Burma cam­paign, had his first les­son on the slopes at the Mid­loth­ian Snows­ports Cen­tre, thanks to the char­ity, Scot­tish War Blinded.

The 96-year-old from Ed­in­burgh said: “It was a lit­tle harder than I imag­ined but ex­tremely worth­while. I en­joyed it very much.

“My lack of sight was a bit of a chal­lenge but the feel­ing was quite amaz­ing.”

Gor­don served in the RAF from 1941 to 46 as the Al­lies fought and even­tu­ally beat the Im­pe­rial Ja­panese forces in Burma, now Myan­mar.

Age-re­lated mac­u­lar de­gen­er­a­tion be­gan caus­ing the great-grand­fa­ther of six’s sight to de­te­ri­o­rate about 20 years ago and he joined Scot­tish War Blinded in 2014.

He has al­ready con­quered hot air bal­loon­ing, paraglid­ing and fly­ing in a glider.

Gor­don was in­structed by Lau­ren Hen­der­son, in­struc­tor for Dis­abil­ity Snows­port UK.

Lau­ren said: “Gor­don is the old­est per­son DSUK have ever in­structed. I was so im­pressed. To try ski­ing for the first time at 96 is an in­cred­i­ble thing and he re­ally rose to the chal­lenge.”

Gor­don’s wife, Yvonne, 74, de­scribed her hus­band as an “adren­a­line junkie”.

She added: “Noth­ing fazes him.

“The doc­tors say that it’s ac­tiv­i­ties like this that keep him young – I think it’s hav­ing a younger wife.”

Gor­don said: “It’s like what Ge­orge Mal­lory said when ques­tioned why he wanted to climb Mount Ever­est – ‘be­cause it’s there’.”

FEAR­LESS Gor­don skis OFF WE GO Lau­ren shows Gor­don how to stop safely. Pic: Toby Williams

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