Sheffield soldier triumphs on the slopes

Corporal Lydia Hilson 23, of 4 Medical Regiment, Royal Army Medical Corps
Corporal Lydia Hilson 23, of 4 Medical Regiment, Royal Army Medical Corps
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Sheffield soldier Corporal Lydia Hilson has served in Afghanistan and been mentioned in dispatches for her work as a medic.

However, her talents do not end there – she is also a whizz on the slopes.

The 23-year-old represented her regiment in the Nordic skiing section of an Army contest in the snowy French Alps.

She competed against 235 others in the Nordic Biathlon section of the Exercise Pipedown contest, and ended up on top of the podium after coming first in the female 10km classic race.

Cpl Hilson, of Gleadless Valley, said: “The Army is full of great opportunities and pushes you both mentally and physically.”

Cpl Hilson is a combat medical technician with the 4 Medical Regiment, Royal Army Medical Corps, based in Aldershot, Hampshire.

She was chosen to give Nordic skiing a try due to her high standard of physical fitness – and has never looked back.

Cpl Hilson joined the Army six years ago and has since exercised in Kenya and been deployed on operations in Somalia and Afghanistan.

In Afghanistan, she was attached to 3rd Battalion the Parachute Regiment and was mentioned in dispatches for her performance as a medic dealing with two mass casualty incidents.

Exercise Pipedown was held at Les Contamines in France for the 21st year last month.

The Nordic biathlon consists of a seven-15 kilometres circuit, full of ridges and hills with a rifle shoot.

It is one of the most popular disciplines for military people – and is regarded as one of the most arduous and physically demanding sports.

Major General James Chiswell, who visited the championships, said: “As well as honing teamwork and leadership skills – key characteristics we have come to expect of our soldiers – all the competitors have displayed high levels of fitness and endurance as they tackle the Nordic and Alpine disciplines.

“Adventurous training opportunities like these are very important.

“It places us well outside our comfort zone, tests our physical and mental strength and develops us as people.”

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