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Skater wins Team GB place at Special Olympics

Posted onPosted on 20th May

Figure skater Callum Mills, who trains at Lammas Leisure Centre, Sutton, has been selected to represent Team GB at the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Kazan, Russia in January 2022.

Callum, 22, originally from Mansfield but who now lives in Shuttlewood, will perform a solo routine as well as compete in the pairs competition with his ice dance partner, Jennifer Lee, of Bradford.

The former Portland College student, who trains three times a week in Sutton and Bradford, is ranked among the top 10 in the world and shrugged off the disappointment of missing out on the 2018 Special Olympics Winter Games in Austria after being hospitalised by flu and pneumonia.

He bounced back with eight medals at the 2018 British Inclusive Skating Championships and then the following year, at the Inclusive Skating/Paralympics World Championships in Glasgow, Callum won six gold medals — free skating, elements, free dance, pattern dance, international free dance and pairs.

Callum also claimed four golds — free skating, free dance, pairs and synchro — at the International Inclusive and Paralympics Jeans for Genes competition.

Callum is deaf and has autism, a heart defect and CHARGE syndrome, which is caused by a rare genetic disorder that can affect many areas of the body.

He told Bolsover TV: “I’m really proud. I’ve been doing figure skating since around 2009 or 2010 and work really hard and I’m very excited to be going to Kazan.

Callum’s routine is to the music of Lady Gaga.

He said: “Lady Gaga has been a big part of my life since she did ‘Just Dance’.

“She gives out a powerful message about people with different disabilities, as well as different nationalities, race and religions, and that actually made me want to do ice skating more and make people proud.

“Her message is to never give up on your dream and always be yourself and remember who you are because you are born this way.”

Callum’s mum, Michelle Mills, added: “Callum is one of the Everyone’s Active sporting champions [a scheme run by Ashfield District Council] and they’ve given Callum so much support over the years.

“They did some fundraising for the last Special Olympics and we’re hoping we can do some more.

“That’s why, even though we’ve moved out of the area, we’ve stayed with this rink because they’ve been so good to him.

“He puts so much work in. Everything is a challenge for Callum but his hard work and dedication got him selected to go to Kazan.”

Michelle and Jenny’s mum, Helene Lee, both travel between Bradford Ice Arena and Lammas Leisure Centre to ensure the skating partners can work together with their different coaches to get a solid routine for them. 

ABOVE: Callum Mills and his ice skating partner, Jenny Lee, have been selected to represent Team GB at the Special Olympics World Winter Games next year.