Olivia – My Story
Hi, I’m a T33 wheelchair racer. I’ve had to face a number of challenges in my life. After being born at 24 weeks, my parents and family were told that I had cerebral palsy. I’m registered blind, I’m blind in my right eye and can only see up to 3m in my left, and also I have a hearing loss. This makes me the only athlete in the sport who has all three conditions.
How it all began
Wheelchair racing for me began after watching the London 2012 Paralympics and seeing David Weir win 4 golds. Seeing the impact that sport had made on his life and other Paralympians was inspiring. I then attended a wheelchair racing taster day in 2014. I heard about the Weir Archer Academy on the internet and I thought to myself I need to do something good in my life as at that time I was not in a good place and was really struggling with my life as I was getting bullied at school and not a very confident person.
The impact on my life
Once I got classified in 2015, sport changed my life massively and has given me the strength and confidence to be who I am today. Without the opportunity to try through opportunities like the Weir Archer Academy I would not be who I am today and wouldn’t be where I am in the sport. Sport hasn’t just changed my life, it has changed my parents lives too. Sport has given me a major focus to do well and to race my to my best standard. Sport has also made me become the person I am by not being shy and upset about everything. I have learnt that I need to focus on myself and think that when I get on those start lines the races are mine and race my heart out.
Competitions have gone great right from the beginning. In 2015 I won the most improved athlete for the under 20 female of the year, right from that day I haven’t looked back and I have kept improving my times. I have been getting higher in the UK and world rankings for the T33’s. I’ve competed in the Cerebral Palsy Sport Athletics series and finals and I have also had the amazing opportunity to be selected to represent Team England at the CPRSIA World Games 2018. I hope to bring back the medals and do my country proud.
My ambitions for the future are to keep improving my times and to get to Tokyo 2020 and future Paralympics. My biggest goal for next year is to hopefully come home from the CPRSIA World Games with a handful of medals.