Snow sports fan surprised by his hero at skiing session

David Richardson from Stansted Mountfitchet met his snow sports hero Ed Leigh

David Richardson from Stansted Mountfitchet met his snow sports hero Ed Leigh - Credit: Right at Home UK

A snow sports-lover from Stansted Mountfitchet was given a surprise of a lifetime after his home care provider teamed up with an ex-professional snowboarder to make his wish come true.

David Richardson, 49, is an avid snow sports fan but had not skied in over 14 years, instead watching his hero - Ski Sunday presenter Ed Leigh - commentate on snow sports around the world.

David from Stansted Mountfitchet attended a skiing session with his hero Ed Leigh

David from Stansted Mountfitchet attended a skiing session with his hero Ed Leigh - Credit: Right at Home UK

David's caregivers at Right at Home Bishop's Stortford and Braintree told him they had arranged for him to attend a bi-skiing session at his local indoor snow centre in Hemel Hempstead, where he would be guided down the slopes using adapted skis for people with limited or no use of their legs.

After a few trips down the slopes David was amazed to be met by Ed Leigh himself, who flew in from Switzerland - where he was covering the Winter Olympics - to join David for the skiing session. 

David said: “I’ve loved watching Ed Leigh’s reporting ever since I saw him interview a girl with autism.

"He was the first sports presenter I watched interview someone living with a disability and treat it as secondary to who they really were as a person.

“I've no words to describe how happy I am to have shared this with him. I love skiing because it makes me feel free. Going down a slope, my body isn’t getting in the way of me doing what I want to do.

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"The whole experience made me feel like me, just me without a disability, so I would like to thank everyone who made my wish come true.”

The day was arranged as part of Right at Home UK's Tin-full of Wishes campaign, which encourages caregivers to nominate clients who deserve to have a once-in-a-lifetime wish granted.

Ed Leigh said: “It’s incredibly humbling to be called someone’s hero. I’m honoured that David could have had any wish and he asked to meet me.

“I have many career highlights, but this experience is unforgettable. When I was asked to do this, there was no way I couldn’t come to meet him – how could anyone pass up the opportunity to make someone’s dream come true?

"Probably the most inspirational thing about David is that he refuses to take ‘no’ for an answer! We can all learn a lot from David.”