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Tokyo gold medallist Lauren Steadman preparing for Winter Paralympic Games bid

Lauren Steadman announces her plans to race at the 2026 Winter Paralympic Games.

Staff Reporter
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Tokyo Paralympic Champion Lauren Steadman has announced her plans to qualify for the next Winter Paralympic Games, which are set to be held in Milano-Cortina in March 2026.

The 30 year old Brit, who spent this past season training and racing on the World Triathlon Para Series circuit, intends to defend her Paralympic title in Paris next year, before a potential switch to the ski slopes.

Having already competed in two Summer Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo, Steadman looks set to have a busy three years ahead of her as chases Paralympic titles under the sun and on the snow.


“I am thoroughly enjoying being a beginner”

After being inspired to give cross country skiing a go after commentating at the 2022 Beijing Winter Paralympics, Steadman shared that starting from scratch in a new sport has been challenging but exciting.

“The first time that I saw cross country skiing was at the Beijing Winter Paralympics. I was doing the commentary with Channel 4 and I thought this looks dangerous, this looks painful and this is right up my street.

“I didn’t think anything about it for a while, then came back to the UK and after a few months said I’d like to speak to GB Snow Sport and see if I can go to a Winter Paralympics.

“Having since made the transition, everyone is on board. I had always thought that doing a Winter Paralympics would be cool, but as is the case with any elite sport, it takes years and years to be podium worthy, so I’d always thought that I’d left it a bit late.

“In Beijing however, I thought if only I can work hard enough, get the skill set and transfer the engine from triathlon, maybe I could be on to a win here and it would give me four years to Milan 2026. It is a really tall task and as a triathlete still, we are mashing up training, but if I concentrate on it, I’d put bets on myself.” 

Enjoying the process

Having committed to learning the basics of the sport and getting started on the process, Steadman still has her Paralympic gold medal defence in Paris to train for, but thinks that picking up a new challenge could provide some transferable skills that aid her triathlon development.

Lauren Steadman Paralympic Games Great Britain
Lauren Steadman of Great Britain pictured after winning gold at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo in the summer of 2021 (Photo – World Triathlon).

“Starting a new sport was so completely different, that I had no expectations at all. What I want to do is start it properly, enjoy the process and I’m here to learn the sport, enjoy the process and make new friends.

“In general, I would recommend that people step out of their comfort zone and learn some new skills again, as there are probably things that I can transfer back to triathlon. I would say that I am thoroughly enjoying being a beginner.” 

Tomos Land
Written by
Tomos Land
Tomos Land is a triathlon & running journalist whose expertise lies in the professional world of short course & long distance triathlon, though he also boasts an extensive knowledge of ultra-running.
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