Skis a jolly good fellow
Blind War War II veteran Gordon hits the piste aged 96
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