The newly retitled British Airways plane ‘VictoRIOus’ will be taking to the sky once again, to take our GB Paralympians to Rio. The GB Paralympics team are aiming to beat their London medal tally, having collected 120 medals 4 years ago.
The selected team for Rio is a fantastic combination of experience and youth.
Team GB – ones to watch in the Paralympics
Here are a few women to look out for between the 7th-18th September:
Ellie Simmonds (Swimming)
Ellie got the British public’s attention back in 2008, when – at only 13 years old – she won two gold medals in Beijing in the 100m and 400m swimming events. She was the poster girl of the 2012 London Paralympic Games, achieving another two Olympic gold medals, this time in the 400m freestyle and 200m individual medley events. Now 21 years of age, she is competing in her third successive Paralympic Games and brings a wealth of experience to Rio.
Dame Sarah Storey (Cycling)
If Ellie Simmonds is the poster girl, then Dame Sarah Storey is the ambassador of Paralympic sport. This will be Sarah’s 7th successive Olympic Games, and as the most decorated female Paralympian in history with 22 medals, she is a dead cert to be climbing the podium in Rio.
From 1992-2004 Sarah competed as a swimmer. She switched to cycling in 2005 and has competed in the remaining Olympics on a bike. It was multiple ear infections that kept Sarah out of the pool and she had to resort to the bike to maintain her aerobic fitness, but she soon discovered she was just as successful on the saddle as she was in the water. Here at Average Janes, we hope she is selected as the flag bearer for Team GB in the opening ceremony.
Hannah Cockroft & Kare Adenegan (Athletics)
Hannah is a multiple World and Paralympic champion, with the ability to turn her wheels to many track events. She won two gold medals in London in the 100m & 200m events, with numerous world records to her name.
However, British rival, Kare Adenegan, beat her for the first time recently. Hannah and Kare are both in the T34 classification – wheelchair athletes who have cerebral palsy, or who have had a stroke or traumatic brain injury. Kare is only 15 years old, and became a double World bronze medallist last year. Having beaten the ‘Hurricane’ Hannah only a few of weekends ago, it will be a great showdown in Rio between these two speedy track stars.
Gemma Collis (Wheelchair fencing)
This 23-year-old athlete has been mistaken for Gemma Collins from TOWIE, having sadly had to correct Twitter trolls that she is Gemma COLLIS from Buckinghamshire, not Essex. Gemma was a multi-talented sportswoman prior to being diagnosed with reflex sympathetic dystrophy, which affects the functioning of the nerve endings in her right leg. Undeterred in her dream to become an Olympian, she discovered wheelchair fencing whilst studying Law at Durham University. 10 months into her newfound sport, she was representing Team GB at London 2012. Since then she has risen to 6th in the World rankings and won 2 World Cup bronze medals in 2014.
That’s just a few Paralympic women we will be watching and cheering on. Good luck to the entire GB 2016 Paralympic team!
The Paralympics opening ceremony takes place on 7 September 2016.
Who will you be cheering? Share with us – @tweetjanes.