Only one day to go now until all eyes turn to London 2012’s Paralympic Opening Ceremony where disabled athletes from 165 countries will be putting four years of dedication and training to the test on the world stage in a bid to bring home gold. Although every gold is amazing, were not going to lie and pretend our allegiance lie anywhere else than with Team GB, so here’s a few other women we hope to see top the medal podium at the games:
Championship / Freestyle / Team Equestrian
About to become a 3-time Paralympian at the tender age of 24, Sophie Christiansen is a leading light in a sport dominated by GB Parasport. Having taken up horse riding at 6-years old as an element of physical therapy for cerebral palsy, Christiansen became an MBE in 2009 and is recognised as a true star of the sport.
A bronze medallist at Athens in 2004 at 16, Christiansen achieved two golds and a silver on Lambrusco III at Beijing in 2008 and will be looking to add to her medal tally in the London Games. The British team are heavy favourites and more medals for Christiansen (riding Rio at these Games) look both likely and well-deserved.
Legs, Trunks & Arms (LTA) Mixed Coxed Fours
A keen competitive swimmer in her formative years, Naomi Riches took up rowing seriously in April 2004 – and was a gold medallist from the World Championships just four months later in the LTAMix4+ event. Commencing her Paralympic career in the same discipline at Beijing in 2008, Riches returned home with a bronze medal.
Since 2008, Riches has been a world gold medallist again in 2011 and seized gold in the first World Cup race of the 2011 season and the final WC race of 2012. Taking the same world championship crew to the London Games, Riches’ and her crew will have strong hopes of improving on 2008’s bronze medal.