The London 2012 Paralympics were a success for British athletes with learning disabilities, as two took medals at the Games (11th September 2012).
At the Aquatics Centre, Jessica-Jane Applegate took gold in in the S14 women’s 200m freestyle, and Aaron Moores took the silver medal in the S14 men’s 100m backstroke.
Additionally, Applegate finished 4th in the S14 100m backstroke and Moores came 7th in the S14 100m breaststroke.
In all, 9 athletes with a learning disability competed for Great Britain at London 2012, in table tennis, swimming and athletics.
Other competitors in the swimming included:
- Chloe Davies, who finished 5th in the 100m backstroke final, but was eliminated in the heats of the 200m freestyle
- Natalie Massey, who finished 7th in the 100m backstroke and 6th in the 200m freestyle finals
- Ben Proctor, who finished 5th in 100m backstroke and 8th in the 200m freestyle finals
- Craig Rodgie, who was eliminated in the heats of the 100m backstroke and 200m freestyle
- Dan Pepper, who finished 7th in both the 200m freestyle and 100m breaststroke.
Elsewhere, Victoria Bromley – who has previously competed at the Special Olympics National Games – went out in the preliminary stages of the table tennis event.
On the athletics track, Steve Morris finished 6th in the T20 men’s 1500m.
London 2012 was the first Paralympics in 12 years to feature athletes with learning disabilities, following a blanket ban after the 2000 Sydney Games. The ban was put in place after it was revealed that members of the Spanish learning disability basketball team did not have any learning disabilities.
In all, 120 athletes with a learning disability competed at London 2012 in swimming, table tennis and athletics.
Nick Parr, Mencap’s active communities programme manager, said: “After so many years, it was fantastic to see athletes with a learning disability competing in the Paralympic Games once again and I would like to congratulate all the medal winners and competitors.
“It is now vital that the governing bodies of sport and other organisations establish a clear programme of talent identification and support for athletes as we look ahead to Rio in 2016 to ensure we build on what we have achieved.”