Swansea University students ready for London 2012 Paralympic Games
16 August 2012
Three current Swansea University (Prifysgol Abertawe) students have been selected to represent Great Britain at the upcoming London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Gemma Almond, David Smith and Matt Whorwood (pictured) will all be a part of Team GB at a Games which has really caught the imagination of the public and seen record ticket sales.
19-year-old History student Almond began swimming at the age of four after using hydrotherapy following an operation, and London 2012 will be her first Paralympic Games.
She said “This will be a once in a lifetime opportunity in front of a home crowd where all my family will be able to be present. I'm looking forward to the experience having trained for over ten years, and since I moved to Swansea last September for University I have had the chance to train in a high performance centre environment. It is great to have seen all the hard work pay off.”
23-year-old Smith is currently studying Aerospace Engineering, and will be part of the British boccia squad that will be defending the gold medals they won in Beijing. He knows that being selected is only half of the work, saying: “I am happy to have been selected for the London 2012 Paralympic Games, but my job is only just about to begin and I hope when it is done I can look back and say that I did my best.”
The third of Swansea University’s current students to take part at the upcoming Paralympic Games is swimmer Matt Whorwood. He is studying for a degree in Mechanical Engineering and will be hoping to beat his double bronze medal winning performance from Beijing.
“On the scoreboard at my training centre, Wales National Pool in Swansea has been a countdown to the Olympic Games,” he said.
“You can certainly see how months turn to weeks, weeks turn to days and days turn to hours.
“I received my kit which made the whole thing begin to feel very real indeed, and I am very much looking forward to wearing it proud alongside my fellow athletes and team staff.”
Two of Swansea University’s former students will also be in action at London 2012. Swimmer Liz Johnson graduated in Business Management and Finance in 2007 before going on to win a gold medal at the Beijing Paralympic Games the following year, while Sports Science graduate James Roberts makes his second Paralympic appearance in his second sport. After competing in rowing back in 2008, he has switched sports to sitting volleyball where he will represent Team GB in 2012.
Meanwhile, the University will also host the Mexican Paralympic squad for their pre-Games training camp.
By Christopher Finch
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