Games type: Paralympic Winter Games
Games year: Geilo 1980
Para sport: Para alpine skiing
Gender: Male
EthnicityEuropean
Date of Birth11 Oct 1923
ResidesChristchurch
OccupationRetired butcher
Impairment (Disability)Below knee amputee

Ed Nichols lost his leg in a motorcycle accident at the age of 17. He immigrated from the UK in 1949 after being inspired by a poster of New Zealand’s Southern Alps. An accomplished amputee ice skater, he joined a group of pioneers at Mount Cheeseman’s Canterbury Winter Sports Club and quickly adapted to skiing winning the Club championships in the Downhill.

A very keen competitor Ed went on to represent New Zealand in the Men’s Giant Slalom 2A and Men’s Slalom 2A in Geilo in Norway in 1980 at the second Paralympic Winter Games (known at the time as the Olympic Winter Games for the Disabled). It was the first time in history that New Zealand participated in the Paralympic Winter Games. Ed was part of the team of 3 Kiwi Paralympians to compete in Norway. This was one of the biggest highlights in his life.

In the summers he was also a very competitive kayaker winning several Christchurch races. He was an open ocean sailor having sailed solely with his wife Shirley Nichols (now passed away) throughout the Pacific Islands, Chatham Islands, Australia and Stewart Island. He has lived a very full and adventurous life. Ed’s passion for the mountains has never waned.

Ed officially received his ‘numbered’ Paralympic pin as part of The Celebration Project in Christchurch in October 2019 on the day of his 96th birthday.

On December 17, 2020, Ed Nichols passed away peacefully at Elmswood Retirement Village, aged 97 years.

Paralympic results

1980Geilo 1980 Paralympic Winter Games-