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Richard Whitehead: Setting Goals, Winning Gold, Leveling the Field

From an early age, sports have been central to Richard Whitehead MBE’s life and have always been an outlet for Richard’s drive and determination. Here Richard describes his journey from growing up in Nottingham in the 1980s, winning an Olympic gold medal, to now, helping others achieve more through the power of sport. .


Born in Nottingham in 1976, Richard enjoyed playing a variety of sports from an early age despite being a double amputee. Growing up in his 80s, when inclusivity wasn’t as important as it is today, Richard found a love of sports, began to question what inclusivity meant, and sought to challenge social norms. gave him a platform.

Early in his career, Richard worked in sports development as a physical education teacher and swim teacher in the UK and US, and was part of the GB Sledge Hockey team at the 2006 Winter Paralympic Games. It’s safe to say that Richard is programmed to compete.

and there was gold

Richard’s first serious run was the 2004 New York City Marathon, helping a close friend who died of sarcoma. By 2010, he had set a new world record for lower limb amputees at the Chicago Marathon, breaking his 3-hour mark with a time of 2:42:52.

Back in 2005, the Olympic Committee announced that the 2012 Games would be held in London. Seeing his once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Richard decided to join the team. Of course he did it and continued to make history. He had hoped to run in the marathon, but since there was no bilateral amputee category at the time, he soon decided to switch to track and field, winning gold in the T42 200m. Then in 2013 he won the IPC World Championship Gold in 200M (T42) and again in 2013 he won the Anniversary Games London Gold in 200M (T42). Richard had a busy year as he also completed ‘Run Britain’, his 977-mile long run from John O’Groats to Land’s End. With more than 20 marathons, world titles, Paralympic gold medals and impressive long-distance running achievements to date, Richard needed to set more goals.

stadium of the future

Having fulfilled his dream, Richard needed to consider what to do next and how he could use his success to level the playing field for others. Sports have always been a passion, but so has providing opportunities for others. Richard enjoyed all the elements of sports management, including creating well-rounded programs, managing spectators, and interacting with administration. He also felt strongly that through sports he could break down social barriers and reach out and engage with various minority groups and communities. He has provided training to people with disabilities, provided his guides in running to the blind community, provided wheelchairs and prosthetics, and removed the barriers that prevented everyone from achieving their goals equitably. I was thinking of removing it.

So in 2021, Richard Richard Whitehead FoundationThe foundation focuses primarily on providing support, mentoring, facilities and opportunities to young people with disabilities who face physical and emotional challenges.

Having just seen the first cohort of beneficiaries graduate from the program, work abroad, start competing in sports and earn college degrees, Richard feels like a proud father and wants to help more young people. I think

“I want to build a foundation for a larger movement. I want to change the environment so that more people can access technology and resources.

“I was lucky to get Ossur I ran a blade in 2004 and was able to fulfill my running ongoing partnership with Ossur Influencing the prosthetics and orthotics sector and giving me the opportunity to work with future technologies and collaborate with the leading practitioners in the field. is important and I want it for everyone. ”

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