A GOLD medal-winning Paralympian from Swindon has received an MBE from Prince Charles.

Chris Skelley has been awarded the honour for services to judo after being included in the New Year's Honours List.

The 29-year-old, now living in Wroughton, won gold in judo in last year's Tokyo Paralympic Games and hopes to qualify for the Paris Paralympics in 2024. He is currently ranked number three in the world.

At the ceremony in Windsor Castle, Prince Charles asked Chris about his career, his sight loss and his future plans, then wished him luck for the next stage of his career and his life.

Chris' fiancé and fellow Paralympian Louise Hunt proudly looked on as he received the MBE.

Chris said: "It was one of the best experiences of my life. To be there with Louise and share that with her was just wonderful.

"We were both nervous but so excited about the ceremony and the honour itself. It’s a memory we’ll carry with us forever.

"I don’t think it had properly sunk in until now but now we’ve had the ceremony, it seems a lot more real!"

Chris is registered blind and lives with ocular albinism, a rare genetic disorder caused issues with pigment cells in his eyes which lead to blurred vision, difficulty with perceiving depth of field, and sensitivity to bright lights.

He started judo at five years old and says it helped get him through the most difficult and challenging period of his life when he was diagnosed with the condition at 19.

He said: "Judo has always been with me - it’s been my constant throughout everything and I feel that I owe so much to the sport. To be honoured for it in such an amazing way is simply extraordinary and incredibly humbling.

"[The ceremony] was really emotional and made me reflect on my journey so far.

"I’ve made so many sacrifices over the years and missed out on so much to carry on training, to put judo first and always push myself that little bit further in order to do well, and you become very aware of how much you have to focus almost to the exclusion of everything else.

"Moments like this really encapsulate all that hard work and it’s humbling to be acknowledged for that level of dedication.  It’s symbolic of everything I have been through up until this point and makes it feels like it was all worth it.”