David Weir- The Wheelchair Racing Champion!
David Weir is one of the most famous Wheelchair racers in the racing world today. He holds all the UK track speed record, and won Paralympic medals at the Athens and Beijing Paralympics. David is 30 yrs old and was born June 5, 1979 in Surry. He was an athletic child growing up, always getting into many sports. He received his first wheelchair in 1987 at the age of 8 from his local counsel with help from former mayor Ted Dutton. He got involved with Get Kids Going! in 2002 when he heard about the charity through the company that made his wheelchairs. Since 2002, David has remained an active Get Kids Going! supporter.
He told Get Kids Going! growing up with a disability was difficult, because in the 80’s people were not as familiar with disabled children. Television shows and media in the past decade have helped familiarized the public with people who have disabilities. David quickly learned to overcome his differences. He says that his parents raised him the same as any other kid, so he grew up with the mentality that his disability was no big deal.
He picked wheelchair racing over other sports, because racing is an individual sport. Growing up, he played a variety of sports. But he tells Get Kids Going! he would get frustrated when kids on his team weren’t playing well that day, and his team would lose. He liked sports where his performance dictated whether he won or lost.
During race season, David practices six days a week for a few hours a day. Training varies based on what type of race David is about to run. When David is training for a marathon, he does more practices on the road, but a track race requires him to practice on the track. David is in his rest period of training right now. When he isn’t training, he just spends his time relaxing, and playing with his 6 year old daughter Ronie.
David was supposed to participate in the 2009 New York Marathon earlier this month, but had to withdrawal from the competition due to illness. He was very disappointed because he claims was in the best shape of his life for a marathon. He was excited because he was one of the top three men’s competitors attending the race.
Out of all of his achievements and victories (see bottom of the page), He believes his biggest achievement to date is his two gold metals at the Beijing Paralympics in 2008. At the moment, he has his eyes set on the Commonwealth Games in 2010 in Delhi.
The biggest obstacle David claims to have overcome in his career was the virus he caught in the 2008 Beijing Paralympic games. After winning two gold metals in the T54 400 and the T54 1500 at the Paralympics, he was unable to continue to complete his goal of winning 5 gold metals. He says the sickness brings you down, and it’s hard to tell if your career will ever recover from a sickness like that.
In between setting world records and winning gold metals, David is one of the Vice Presidents of Get Kids Going! After receiving his first wheelchair in 2002, David has become a full supported of the Get Kids Going! children. He says “Get Kids Going is a fantastic charity…All disabled children should be able to get into sports.” Get Kids going is extremely appreciative of his support, and will continue to support him as long as he continues racing.
Just a small list of some of David’s numerous accomplishments are
• Winning the gold metal in the T54 800m and T54 1500m, a silver in the T54 400, and bronze in the T54 5,000 m in the Beijing Paralympics in 2008
• Winning the Silver metal in the T54 100m, and bronze in the T54 200m at the Athens Paralympics
• Won the London Marathon 4 times in 2002, 06,07,08, He came in a close second in 2009
• Holds all the records for the British Wheelchair tracks up to 5,000m
• Won the Great North Run Wheelchair race in 2009 and broke the course record
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