By Nick Butler

After fourth place in Vancouver Kelly Gallagher will be targeting the podium this time around ©Getty ImagesJanuary 23 - Podium contenders Kelly Gallagher and Jade Etherington are among a 10-strong Alpine skiing squad unveiled by the British Paralympic Association (BPA) as they target their first ever gold medal at the Winter Paralympics in March.

Announced during a two-day celebration event inGlasgow which brings together all selected athletes for a gala dinner before they head off to their final preparation camps, the squad consists of seven Para-athletes and three guides. 

After winning multiple medals on both the World Cup and Europa Cup circuits already this season, the visually-impaired duo Gallagher and Etherington will lead the team, with Gallagher particularly keen to build on her fourth place at the Vancouver 2010 Games.

Also selected is sit-skier Mick Brennan, a retired serviceman injured while serving in Iraq in 2004 and formed part of the BPA's inaugural Paralympic Inspiration Programme, while a third visually impaired athlete, teenager Millie Knight, will also be an outside medal contender. 

With the three visually impaired skiers also having able-bodied guides, the squad is completed by Anna Turney and two other teenagers, Ben Sneesby and James Whitley, with the major absentee being former World Cup medallist Heather Mills after she announced her retirement last year following an equipment row with the International Paralympic Committee.

Heather Mills is the obvious absentee from the British team after she announced her retirement last month ©Getty ImagesHeather Mills is the obvious absentee from the British team after she announced her retirement last month ©Getty Images

Also heading for Sochi is the wheelchair curling team of Aileen Neilson, Tom Killin, Rob McPherson and Gregor Ewan, with Angie Malone as reserve, as they target a repeat of the silver medal they won at Turin 2006.

Reflecting on the selection of the skiing team, Paralympics GB Chef de Mission Penny Briscoe described it as "fitting that my first important task of our team launch event is to announce the Alpine skiers here today.

"We have selected some incredibly talented skiers, some of whom are very experienced and some of whom are exciting prospects, not just for Sochi but also for future Games", she added. 

"I am confident that I will be leading a team in Sochi with some of the best prepared athletes that have ever represented ParalympicsGB at a Winter Games, but we will not take anything for granted.

"We know that the margins will be small and that we cannot underestimate how others will perform on the day.

"What is not in doubt, however, is the skill, determination and commitment of our athletes, who have shown that they can thrive under pressure and compete up there against the world's best."