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Rotherham paralympian on “fairytale” gold

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Rotherham paralympian Gavin Walker described his team’s gold at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games as a fairytale.

Gavin is the co-captain of Great Britain’s wheelchair rugby team that recently made history by beating the USA in a fantastic final.

It is the first ever wheelchair rugby Paralympic medal for GB, first for a European nation, and first gold for GB in a team sport in the Games’ sixty-one-year history.

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The sport, also known as “murderball,” was one of the biggest hits of the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, where Gavin made his paralympic debut.

Gavin, a former Brinsworth Comprehensive pupil, featured in the group games against Canada, New Zealand and eventual finalists, USA.

Posting on social media, Gavin Walker, paralympic gold medalist, said: “Is someone going to wake me from this fairytale?

“Just over 11 years ago after an unfortunate accident, not able to move flat on my back in hospital, using a mirror above my head to view visitors, thinking of the terrible future that was in front of me because I was paralysed from the chest down. I never knew or understood what was possible!

“All I could manage to visualise was getting home and starting to rebuild my life. Life continued to fall around me for a while and many challenges were ahead of me.

“The support from day one from family, friends, nursing staff and complete strangers made each day that little easier.

“Since those early days I’ve had so many positive experiences and my main motivation are my daughters and girlfriend Zoe who are there when I need them the most. When I’m most tired and grumpy.

“Today I woke up a Paralympic Gold medalists. To get to this point, many many more people have been along side me from coaches, players, sport scientists, support staff and fans of the sport.

“As far as I’m concerned, this is a medal for us all to enjoy. The sport will excel from here and give others the motivation and awareness of what’s possible if you don’t give up and keep bettering yourself a little each day.

“My hope is that there is someone who has seen our performance and takes on that challenge.”

Images: Channel 4

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Tom Austen
Tom grew up in Aston, Rotherham and studied Human Geography at Nottingham Trent University before developing a passion for promoting Rotherham and a nose for a good story.

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