Couple taking part in every Olympic sport during Tokyo 2020 raise £80,000

Couple are raising money for Motor Neurone Disease Association after losing relative to the illness

Olivia Petter
Wednesday 04 August 2021 15:44
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A young couple based in Oxford have set themselves the task of taking part in every Olympic sport over the 17-day period that the Tokyo Games is taking place in order to raise money for charity.

Charlotte Nichols, 21, and Stuart Bates, 51, who have already received more than 3,000 donations, set out to raise £10,000 in memory of Mr Bates’ brother, Spencer Bates, who died from motor neurone disease (MND) in 2011 at the age of 49.

Donations have surpassed their target, however, with the couple having raised more than £80,000 already.

Miss Nichols and Mr Bates have completed 60 of the Olympic sports so far, including a 40km race walk, a 10km swim and climbing.

Both have said that the challenge has left them feeling “bruised, battered and covered in blisters so far”.

“Sometimes you’re just hurting so much,” said Miss Nichols, who is studying medicine at the University of Bristol.

Mr Bates and Miss Nichols.

“There was a point on the cycle when we’d done 150km and we still had 90km to go. I was so exhausted I just didn’t know if I could do it. I just stopped and cried.”

Mr Bates added: “It is so hard to watch someone you love living with motor neurone disease. It’s 10 years since Spencer passed but I still think about him every single day.

“We have been sent so many messages from people living with this disease or from their families.

“It gives us an awful lot of pride but also so much motivation. We woke up yesterday and our bodies were in pieces, but we read a few messages from these people and we got up, dusted ourselves off and got out.”

MND is an uncommon condition that affects the brain and nerves

According to the NHS, MND is an uncommon condition that affects the brain and nerves. It causes weakness that gets worse over time.

There’s no cure for the disease, however, there are treatments that can reduce the effect it has on a person’s daily life, and some people live with MND for many years.

You can donate to the couple’s JustGiving page here.

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