Tokyo Paralympics: 'Wonderful' Leeds Paralympians prepare to take on sporting challenge of their lives

Leeds Paralympians are limbering up as the eyes of the world turn once again to Tokyo for huge 12 days of sport.

By Joe Cooper
Monday, 23rd August 2021, 4:44 pm

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A British team made up of 227 athletes across 19 of the 22 Paralympic sports are gearing up to begin competition in Japan after a challenging build-up severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

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Ellen Buttrick is competing at the Tokyo Paralympics.

It comes after Team GB came fourth overall in the Olympics earlier this month.

Cox has previously competed in the 2016 Olympics held in Rio and won one bronze and two gold medals at the Games, becoming the first British Paralympian to achieve two gold medals from two different events since 1984.

Buttrick began rowing as an able-bodied athlete near her home in Leeds after seeing people row at Roundhay Park.

But when she began her geography degree at Northumbria University she was diagnosed with juvenile macular degeneration (JMD), an inherited eye disorder, but she remained determined to row.

Leeds City Council has wished all athletes that are from or based in the city, the very best of luck at the games.

Councillor Salma Arif, Leeds City Council’s executive member for public health and active lifestyles said: “This year’s Paralympic Games in Tokyo is set to be another unforgettable event, and we cannot wait to cheer on Team GB and especially every athlete that is from or based in the city of Leeds.

“We are extremely fortunate and proud to have some truly wonderful Paralympians representing the city in Tokyo, who over many years, have worked incredibly hard and shown such amazing determination and talent.

"We wish them the very best of luck competing on one of the world’s greatest and most iconic sporting stages.”

Other athletes competing with a link to Leeds include: five-time gold medallist wheelchair racer, Hannah Cockroft MBE, who is from Halifax but represent Leeds City Athletics Club; Claire Cashmore MBE, a swimmer and triathlete who studied at the University of Leeds; and Leeds-based cyclist David Stone MBE, who is now targeting a successful fifth Olympic Games in what has been already a stellar career.

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