Skater Callum earns Special Olympics selection for 2022
Figure skater Callum Mills has been selected to represent Team GB at the Special Olympics World Winter Games to be held in Kazan, Russia in January 2022.
Mansfield-born Callum, 22, who now lives in Shuttlewood near Chesterfield but still trains at Lammas Leisure Centre in Sutton, will perform his solo routine as well as in the pairs competition with his ice dance partner Jennifer Lee who lives in Bradford.
He has won a large number of medals in the sport in the past, although suffered disappointment during the 2018 Special Olympics Winter Games in Austria after being struck down by flu and pneumonia which saw him spend time in hospital.
But having been selected once again, Callum, who trains three times a week in Sutton and Bradford and is ranked among the top ten in the world, 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, one of his favourite artists.
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 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.
His mum Michelle said: “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.”