AFTER years of waiting, the Paralympic medals are coming with a flurry for Nowra-born vision-impaired skier Melissa Perrine.
On Tuesday, the 30-year-old, three-time Paralympian broke through with a super combined bronze medal.
Barely 24 yours later Perrine showed she was hungry for more with a second bronze medal – this time in her giant slalom category.
As the temperature ticked past the 15 degrees mark in the mountains of PyeongChang, Perrine was cool under pressure across her two runs and expertly supported by experienced guide Christian Geiger.
“I just went out there to relax and have fun, Perrine said.
“I love this sport, it's an amazing sport.
“I wanted to have a lot of fun out there and I managed to do that.”
Perrine’s campaign in Sochi four years ago was a disaster – highlighted by more than one did-not-finish results over her five events.
This time, Perrine said, she had benefited enormously from staying close to the Jeongseon Alpine Centre venue for the alpine events in South Korea.
“I've always got to be really cautious about my fatigue levels,” she said.
“It's part of having epilepsy.
“You've got to be on top of your body and know it quite well.
“Unfortunately, something snuck up on me on super-G day.
“Shit happens – but I've managed to recover well, sleep well.
“I'm going to do the same thing.”
Geiger, who is also her coach, added: “The APC [Australian Paralympic Committee] and SSA [Ski and Snowboard Australia] made the transition so the last two nights we've been staying here at the sub-site, just to manage fatigue and not have to get up as early, to make it a bit easier on Mel.”
Perrine was well placed in her opening run after a time of one minute, 14.95 seconds.
She did not relinquish that medal position, coming down the slopes in 1:13.86 to finish behind gold medallist Henrieta Farkasova, of Slovakia, and Great Britain’s Menna Fitzpatrick.
“The course crew did a great job trying to get a really good surface together and I think it's been a really fair one so far,” Perrine said.
I hope it stays like that for the whole field.”
She had nothing but words of appreciation for Geiger, who also guided dual Winter and Summer Paralympian Jess Gallagher to a bronze medal in Sochi four years ago.
“He's pretty fricken awesome,” Perrine, who was born with four separate eye conditions – cataracts, nystagmus, micropthalmia and glaucoma, said.
“He's really good – I don't think I could do what I do without him.
“As a coach he's amazing.
“As a guy, he's amazing.
“I can't say enough good stuff about him.
“Although his head might have grown.”