Words By Maisie Levitt
As the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games drew to a close on September 5th, Team GB has continued their Rio and London successes; coming second in the medal rankings. Team GB managed to take home 124 medals, with 41 of those being gold.
The Paralympic Games have led to new British titles and records for many competitors. Cyclist and former swimmer Dame Sarah Storey has won her 17th gold medal, making her the most successful British Paralympian in history, commenting that her native Peak District training “really paid off” as the rain did not distract her during her final race.
Swimmer Reece Dunn gained his third gold of the Games via a world record breaking 200m medley, and Daniel Pembroke has broken a Paralympic record in the javelin throw final, leading him to a gold medal.
The most successful nation at wheelchair rugby, Team USA, were beaten by Team GB with 54 tries to 49, making Great Britain the first European team to ever win gold.
Two new world records were set by swimmers Maisie Summers-Newton and Tully Kearney in the Aquatics Centre. Summers-Newton won gold in the 200m individual medley, while Kearney earned first place in a 100m freestyle – describing the win as “just insane”.
Unfortunately, the Tokyo Games may be the last Paralympics for some. Former world-record holding swimmer Ellie Simmonds has announced that her Paralympic career has come to an end after competing in four Games, having been the youngest British competitor in Beijing 2008 aged 13. Simmonds has had an extensive Paralympic career recognised nationally when she received an OBE for her services to Paralympic sport in 2013, and more recently by her teammates such as Maisie Summers-Newton who said, “she’ll always be the icon for Paralympics”. Simmonds stated that, for having inspired the next generation of swimmers, “I am honoured”.
Editor’s Note; details are correct as of time of writing 03/09/2021