Page 3 Profile: David Weir, Multiple Paralympic champion


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The Independent Online

I'm sure I've seen him on the top of a few podiums recently…

Yes you have. Weir, the 33-year-old Paralympic athlete from Sutton, has become one of the superstars of the London 2012 Games, claiming four gold medals to go along with the two gold, two silver and two bronze he won in the 2004 and 2008 Games. Fans have painted a postbox gold outside his home in Wallington.

So what makes him so special?

It is the sheer number of distances he covers, claiming gold in the T54 800m/1,500m/5,000m and the marathon, that astounds. Nicknamed "The Animal", it is as the Weirwolf that he has become known in London, with howls from the crowd and his team-mates greeting each win. He was born with a severed spinal cord, which left him unable to use his legs, but has become the epitome of the "Inspire a generation" label of the Games, with Seb Coe calling his win in the 5,000m one of the moments of the Paralympics.

So is he now the face of the Games?

It looks that way, with his heavily pregnant fiancée, Emily, cheering him to victory, he has been taken into the nation's hearts. The #weirwolf hashtag has trended on Twitter whenever he has raced. He is also popular with his fellow athletes, who have adapted Warren Zevon's 1978 hit, "Werewolves of London" in his honour. He was made an MBE in 2009 and is likely to pick up lots more awards now he is in the public eye.