Paralympic Shorts: Watch out Tanni – Lee is out to become the star of the show
Rob Hastings is Assistant News Editor at The Independent. He has served on the news desk since 2010. While working as a freelance reporter and feature writer he was also published by The Guardian, The Times and the Financial Times.
Friday 31 August 2012
Only two of the 503 Paralympians are openly gay, but by performing on his horse Gentleman to the tune of anthems such as "I'm So Excited" by The Pointer Sisters, dressage star Lee Pearson is undoubtedly out and proud. "I don't have a choice about my disability just as I don't have a choice about being gay," he has said.
The equestrian star, who was born with twisted and deformed limbs, needs three goal medals to surpass Tanni Grey-Thompson's record 11-gold haul – a feat which would make him Britain's greatest Paralympian. But with nine already to his name, he has previously complained that he hasn't been knighted already, unlike Olympic counterparts with fewer golds. He moved a step closer to the record tally by qualifying for tomorrow's final of the Individual Championship Test.
Ex-hunger striker wins silver
There are some extraordinary life stories at these Games but the tale behind Spanish swimmer Sebastián Rodríguez – who took silver last night in the men's 50m freestyle S5 – is among the most controversial.
The 55-year-old lost the use of his legs after going on hunger strike for 432 days during a prison sentence, handed to him for being part of a far-left terrorist organisation that assassinated a businessman in 1984.
Driver who injured cyclist is jailed
A drunk driver who ended the Paralympic dream of cyclist Simon Richardson was yesterday jailed for 18 months. Mr Richardson, who won two golds and a silver in Beijing, was left with a fractured spine, broken pelvis, collapsed lung and perforated bowel after he was knocked down while training in Bridgend, south Wales.
But rather than stopping to help, Edward Adams, 61, rushed home and poured himself a whisky to disguise that he had been drinking before the collision.
Quote of the day
"It was the first time I ever had a dressing room with my name on it… Imagine, my name next to Stephen Hawking's. He is a true celebrity."
Margaret Maughan, who won gold in the 1960 Paralympic archery, and lit the 2012 Paralympic Cauldron on Wednesday.
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