The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games produced so many top-level performances and outstanding medal successes for Great Britain to celebrate….it’s hard to know where to start! We felt it was time for another special episode of the SportsAid Vault Podcast which reflects on the Paralympics and gives you the inside track on the Games in Tokyo. So what do we have in store? In this episode, recorded just a few days after the Closing Ceremony, we’ll be finding out about the logistical challenges posed by the delayed Games and how athletes were supported during this time.
We’ll discover what it was like competing without live crowds, hear about life in the Athletes’ Village and relive the stand-out moments for ParalympicsGB which captured the nation’s attention. We’ll look at the reception the team have received since coming back home and discuss the impact of a shortened, three-year cycle ahead of Paris 2024. We’ll also delve into how the next generation of para athletes are identified, highlight the growing popularity of the Paralympic movement and why increased exposure - and representation - can help inspire more disabled people to take up sport.
Our first guest on this special episode is Alasdair Donaldson - the Paralympic Talent and Development Manager at British Triathlon. He acts as the sport’s Operational Lead for the Paralympic Games - where the para triathlon team won one gold, one silver and one bronze medal in Tokyo. Alasdair joined British Triathlon in 2013 and leads the delivery of Talent ID programmes to help identify the next generation of para triathletes. Prior to this, he was an Endurance Coach at UK Athletics which saw him working at the World University Games and the Youth Olympics.
Our second guest is Fabienne Andre - a wheelchair racer who made her ParalympicsGB debut in Tokyo. She competed in the T34 Women's 100m and 800m - coming fifth and fourth respectively. Earlier this year, she won gold in the 100m and 800m at the World Para Athletics European Championships. Fabienne was a highly successful swimmer, winning bronze and three silver medals at the Cerebral Palsy World Games in 2018, but switched to wheelchair racing shortly afterwards. The 25-year-old works as a Physiotherapist Assistant at the Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust.
Co-hosted by Tom Gayle, BBC sports presenter, commentator and reporter, and Dominic Mensah, current Great Britain tumbling sensation, the SportsAid Vault, produced by Hogarth Worldwide and Gramercy Park Studios, launched in February and has welcomed a number of exciting guests to share their career insights. Footballer Lotte Wubben-Moy, triathlete Alex Yee and para swimmer Louise Fiddes - all of whom competed in Tokyo - have previously featured. Alex won gold and silver on his Team GB debut, while Louise returned silver and bronze on her first outing for ParalympicsGB.