All athlete guides to get medals for first time

Click to follow
The Independent Online

All athletes who guide Paralympians will be eligible for medals for the first time at London 2012, The Independent on Sunday has learnt. In cycling, running and football, sighted athletes work alongside blind competitors and undergo the same rigorous training, but often get no podium recognition.

At Beijing only the pilot cyclists in the tandem race were given medals, but at London guide runners and sighted goalkeepers in blind football will also be eligible for gongs.

British sprinter Libby Clegg will run the 100m with her wrist attached to her guide runner, Mikail Huggins. She is pleased he will get recognition: "It's a team effort, it's not just me. I'm the one that has to cross the line first, but when I get medals I want Mikail to be with me because he helps me do it."

Huggins said: "It's a souvenir for the hard work and dedication I've put in. One of the biggest things is being able to help someone achieve their dreams. I know that I'm Libby's guide, but we come as a team – if she loses, I lose, and if she wins, we win as a team."