Giles Bruce Long MBE (born 9 July 1976, Harold Wood, London),[1] is a retired British swimmer, public speaker, TV presenter & commentator. He is also the inventor of LEXI.

Giles Long
Medal record
Swimming (S8), (SM8)
Representing  Great Britain
Paralympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1996 Atlanta 100 m Butterfly PR
Gold medal – first place 2000 Sydney 100 m Butterfly WR
Gold medal – first place 2000 Sydney 4×100 m Freestyle (heats)
Silver medal – second place 1996 Atlanta 4x100 m Medley Relay
Silver medal – second place 2000 Sydney 4×100 m Medley Relay
Bronze medal – third place 1996 Atlanta 200 m Individual Medley
Bronze medal – third place 2004 Athens 100 m Butterfly
IPC World Championships
Gold medal – first place 1994 Malta 100 m Butterfly WR
Silver medal – second place 1994 Malta 4×100 m Freestyle
Silver medal – second place 1998 Christchurch, NZ 100 m Butterfly
Silver medal – second place 2002 Mar Del Plata, Argentina 100 m Butterfly
Bronze medal – third place 1994 Malta 200 m Individual Medley
Bronze medal – third place 1998 Christchurch, NZ 4×100 m Medley Relay
Bronze medal – third place 2002 Mar Del Plata, Argentina 200 m Individual Medley
IPC European Championships
Gold medal – first place 1995 Perpignan, France 100 m Butterfly ER
Gold medal – first place 1999 Braunsweig, Germany 100 m Butterfly ER
Gold medal – first place 1999 Braunsweig, Germany 200 m Individual Medley ER
Gold medal – first place 2001 Stockholm, Sweden 100 m Butterfly
Silver medal – second place 1995 Perpignan, France 200 m Individual Medley
Silver medal – second place 2001 Stockholm, Sweden 200 m Individual Medley


Long's international swimming career highlight was winning gold in the S8 100 m Butterfly in a new World Record time at the Sydney 2000 Paralympics.

The 1994 World Championships was his first major international. He won gold in the S8 100 m butterfly, breaking the world record in the process.[2] He represented Great Britain at the 1996 Summer Paralympics in Atlanta, and won three medals, including gold in the 100 m butterfly. He competed again at the 2000 Summer Paralympics in Sydney, where he won two gold medals and one silver, and set a new world record in the 100 m butterfly. He also took part in the 2004 Summer Paralympics in Athens, winning bronze in the S8 100 m Butterfly.[3]

In 2005, Long was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).[4]

He announced his retirement from competitive swimming in 2007.[5]

On 5 July 2012 he was a Torchbearer as part of the Olympic Torch Relay.[6] He was the first leg of Day 48 and started on top of Norwich Castle. He then carried the torch down inside the castle and round the walls before passing the flame on as it travelled towards Ipswich.

Early lifeEdit

Long grew up in Braintree, Essex in the UK. He enjoyed being in the water and joined Braintree & Bocking Swimming Club in 1983 aged seven.

At the age of 13 he was diagnosed with an Osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer, in his right Humerus (the bone which connects shoulder to elbow). He underwent chemotherapy at University College Hospital, London and had an operation to insert a full humeral prosthetic replacement (a metal bone) into his right arm at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH), Stanmore. After the treatment and operation Long resumed swimming and returned to able-bodied competition though by now swimming with just his left arm.

Life returned to relative normality with a return to school but in late 1991 the disease returned with a serious infection during which Long nearly died. He was admitted to the now demolished Middlesex Hospital, London and was treated, again with chemotherapy, in the UK's first Teenage Cancer Trust unit. He was operated on by Mr Cannon at the RNOH and then spent six weeks in isolation to treat the infection. He was then operated on again before finishing his chemotherapy. The final part of the treatment was a course of Radiotherapy at Middlesex Hospital.


Long read Geology at the University of Leeds and graduated with BSc 2:1 with honours in 1997.[7]

Television & RadioEdit

Giles was part of the UK Channel 4 presenting and commentary team for the London 2012 Paralympics.[8] His contribution was very well received. Clive James in the Daily Telegraph wrote "Giles Long, himself three times a Paralympics swimming gold medallist, who was so thorough in explaining the requirements of swimming with a damaged body that you learned a lot about swimming in general."[9]

On the lead up to the 2012 Paralympics he presented the IPC World Swimming Championships in 2010 (both highlights and live web broadcast), BT Paralympic World Cup live coverage in 2011, the highlights of the IPC European Wheelchair Fencing Championships and packages for That Paralympic Show.[10]

In 2010 and 2011 he worked on the sports desk at Sky News and for the BBC News Channel.

Earlier in his career he had untaken work placements with BBC Radio 1 on the Mark & Lard Show, BBC Radio 5Live, BBC Radio Manchester.


Long is the inventor of LEXI[11][12] a groundbreaking graphics system that, for the first time, effectively explained the confusing system of classification in Paralympic sports on television. It was first used by London 2012 host broadcaster Channel 4[13] in the UK. It was also sub-licensed to ABC for use in Australia.

On 28 November 2012 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of East London for the invention of LEXI and his contribution to the coverage of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.[14][15]

Lexicon Decoder is the global rights holder for LEXI.

Writer & AuthorEdit

Giles wrote Changing to Win, an autobiography and motivational book, which was first published by Piatkus (now part of Little, Brown and Company) in October 2008.[16] It was then reprinted in April 2010.[17]

He wrote briefly for the Daily Telegraph in 2004 describing the emotional roller-coaster of competing at the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games.[18] He also wrote a column in The Swimming Times from May 2008 to July 2009.


On 12 May 2013 he was part of the Channel 4 team that won at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts award (BAFTA) in the Sport & Best Live Event category.[19][20]

External linksEdit


  1. ^ Giles Long's athlete profile on the BBC
  2. ^ Long has a cancerous tumour in his right arm. ("Giles Long profile", British government website)
  3. ^ Biography Archived 10 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine on Long's official website
  4. ^ "Long delighted with surprise MBE", BBC, 31 December 2005
  5. ^ "Giles Long announces retirement", BBC, 20 March 2007
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 August 2012. Retrieved 19 November 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 December 2012. Retrieved 14 November 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ Channel 4: meet the team
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