With 2021 quickly disappearing in the rear-view mirror, we thought we would look back at one of the highlights of the year – Team GB star Chris Skelley bringing home gold from the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
The judo champion has been ranked number one in the world since 2019, competing in the visually-impaired B2 under-100kg category and has won medals for GB in numerous championships.
In 2021 he got the chance to compete in his second Paralympics – the postponed Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games – and it proved to be a golden one for the Hull athlete.
Chris said: “To be able to compete in Tokyo and come away with a medal and win it was absolutely amazing. I couldn’t believe it; I really could not believe it. I feel so lucky to have won a medal. Not having anyone there was tough – I missed my family, my friends and my fiancée being there – but I was there to do a job.”
Raised in west Hull, Chris attended Thoresby Primary School and then Kelvin Hall Science College (now called Kelvin Hall School).
The sport he loves often takes him away from the city he loves, but the responsibility of representing his city, and of course his country, is not lost on Chris.
He said: “To have recognition in my home city is amazing, I’m so proud to represent Hull. All my friends, family, my old rugby mates, my judo mates are still up there so to be able to represent them as well as the city is amazing.
“When anyone asks me where I’m from, I proudly say I’m from Hull, because it’s one of the best cities in the world, I think. I’m always gonna have a fondness for it. It has a place in my heart forever.”
2021 was a special year for the Hull judo star, but so is 2022, with Chris set to marry his fiancé, Louise.
We wish Chris and Louise the very best for 2022 and the future – with hopefully many more medals waiting for him on the horizon.