Olympic duo motivate school

AN audience of young people were inspired by two sportsmen who triumphed over adversity to achieve their dreams. Olympic canoeist Ian Wynne and Paralympic swimmer Giles Long provided a motivational talk to pupils Cliff Park High School.

AN audience of young people were inspired by two sportsmen who triumphed over adversity to achieve their dreams.

Olympic canoeist Ian Wynne and Paralympic swimmer Giles Long provided a motivational talk to pupils Cliff Park High School.

The visit, on Wednesday, was organised to raise awareness of the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic games.

Long told how his childhood dream of winning Olympic gold seemed to have been destroyed when he was diagnosed with bone cancer at the age of 13.

Despite having his left shoulder bone removed, Long's determination never wavered and he went on to win the 100m butterfly in a new world record time at the Sydney Paralympics.

Wynne explained how he had ripped leg ligaments in a fall the day before he was due to compete in the final of the K1 500m canoe race at the 2004 Olympics.

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He defied the odds to win a bronze medal despite being in severe pain and hobbling around on crutches.

“It took one and a half minutes to finish the race, but it was the culmination of 16 years' preparation,” said Wynne.

“I refused to be downcast about the injury because I knew that if I did the best I could then I would still have fulfilled my potential.”