Great Britain at the Paralympics

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has participated (under the name "Great Britain") in every summer and winter Paralympic Games.

Great Britain at the
Paralympics
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg
IPC codeGBR
NPCBritish Paralympic Association
Websitewww.paralympics.org.uk
Medals
Ranked 2nd
Gold
669
Silver
635
Bronze
643
Total
1,947
Summer appearances
Winter appearances

While the Olympic Games find their origin in Greece, Britain, and specifically the Stoke Mandeville Hospital is recognised as the spiritual home of the Paralympic Games. The first Paralympic Games, held in Rome in 1960, were simultaneously the 9th International Stoke Mandeville Wheelchair Games, a competition first devised by Dr Ludwig Guttmann in 1948 to coincide with the London Olympic Games of 1948, for soldiers with spinal cord injuries being cared for in Stoke Mandeville Hospital. While the Stoke Mandeville Games continue to exist as the IWAS World Games, a specific event for wheelchair and amputee athletes, the Paralympic Games evolved from its Stoke Mandeville Games roots to include a comprehensive range of disabilities. This legacy is commemorated before each Paralympic Games since 2012 with the lighting of a 'legacy flame' at Stoke Mandeville as part of the Paralympic torch event.[1]

Britain has performed particularly well at the Summer Paralympic Games, consistently finishing between second and fifth on the medal tables - a slightly better performance than at the Olympics reflecting Britain's long-time connection and support of the event. Britain has won one gold medal at the Winter Paralympics and 626 at the Summer Games. Britain is second on the all-time Paralympic Games medal table.

Britain was the co-host of the 1984 Summer Paralympics in Stoke Mandeville, sharing the duties with New York, and the host of the 2012 Summer Paralympics, in London.

Although the country uses the name "Great Britain", athletes from Northern Ireland are entitled to compete as part of British delegations. Representatives of the devolved Northern Ireland government, however, have objected to the name, which they argue creates a perception that Northern Ireland is not part of the British Olympic team, and have called for the team to be renamed as Team UK.[2][3]

Under the terms of a long-standing settlement between the British Olympic Association and the Olympic Council of Ireland, athletes from Northern Ireland can elect to represent Ireland at the Olympics, as Northern Irish people are legally entitled to dual citizenship.[4]

Britain's most successful Paralympian is swimmer turned cyclist Sarah Storey, who took the honour at the 2020 Summer Paralympics when she won her 16th gold medal, and 27th medal in all. Prior to 2020, the record had been held for decades by swimmer Mike Kenny who also won 16 individual gold medals, as well as two relay silvers, in four Games.[5] Although Great Britain has competed in every Games, the British Paralympic Committee was only founded in 1989, after Kenny's retirement. Media in Britain consistently referred to the most decorated Paralympic athletes from that year, Tanni Grey-Thompson, Dave Roberts and Sarah Storey as Britain's "greatest Paralympians", occasionally with the phrase "of the modern era", attached.[6] The International Paralympic Committee, however, recognise all of Kenny's eighteen medals as Paralympic medals, and he remains Great Britain's most successful male Paralympian and the most successful British Paralympian in a single sport (Of her 16 gold medals, Storey won 11 in cycling and 5 in swimming).[7]

Britain's first Paralympic gold was earned at the 1960 Rome Games by Margaret Maughan. Her feat was recognised when Maughan was chosen to light the Paralympic Flame during the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Summer Paralympics.[8]

Britain's first Winter Paralympic gold was earned at the Sochi 2014 Games by Kelly Gallagher and guide Charlotte Evans in the Women's Super-G Visually impaired.

Multiple athletes have won 4 medals at the Winter Paralympics for Great Britain, each in alpine skiing. Most recently by Menna Fitzpatrick and her guide Jennifer Kehoe in 2018, Jade Etherington and guide Caroline Powell in 2014. Richard Burt won 4 medals across two games in 1992 and 1994. However, Fitzpatrick and her guide Kehoe are the only athletes to have won a gold medal. The only other British athlete to have won a gold medal at the Winter Paralympics is Kelly Gallagher and her guide Charlotte Evans, also in alpine skiing in 2014.

Hosted GamesEdit

In 2012, Great Britain became the second nation, the other being the United States, to host the Summer Paralympic Games twice.

Games Host city Dates Nations Participants Events
1984 Summer Paralympics Stoke Mandeville 22 July – 1 August 41 1100 603
2012 Summer Paralympics London 29 August – 9 September 164 4302 503

Medal tablesEdit

*Red border colour indicates tournament was held on home soil.

Summer Games medals by sportEdit

Medals by sport
Sport       Total
Swimming 225 255 227 707
Athletics 213 173 187 573
Cycling 50 30 16 96
Lawn Bowls 35 28 19 82
Equestrian 34 20 10 64
Table tennis 26 31 47 104
Archery 18 22 22 62
Wheelchair Fencing 11 12 26 49
Shooting 8 9 11 28
Snooker 8 4 6 18
Rowing 8 0 2 10
Paracanoeing 6 1 5 12
Boccia 5 5 3 13
Weightlifting 4 6 5 15
Judo 4 4 9 17
Powerlifting 4 4 9 17
Wheelchair tennis 3 7 6 16
Paratriathlon 2 3 2 7
Dartchery 1 1 1 3
Sailing 1 0 3 4
Wheelchair Rugby 1 0 0 1
Wheelchair Basketball 0 3 6 9
Badminton 0 1 1 2
Taekwondo 0 1 1 2
Volleyball 0 1 0 1
Football 7-a-side 0 0 2 2
Total 667 621 626 1914

(Last updated: 19 March 2018)

Multi medallistsEdit

Athletes in bold are still active

Summer ParalympicsEdit

Summer Paralympic multi medallistsEdit

Athletes who have won at least three gold medals or five medals.

No. Athlete Sport(s) Years Gender Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Sarah Storey Swimming
Cycling
1992 – 2020 F 17 8 3 28
2 Mike Kenny Swimming 1976 – 1988 M 16 2 0 18
3 Lee Pearson Equestrian 2000 - 2020 M 14 2 1 17
4 Tanni Grey-Thompson Athletics 1988 – 2000 F 11 4 1 16
5 David Roberts Swimming 2000 – 2008 M 11 4 1 16
6 Isabel Newstead Athletics
Shooting
Swimming
1984 - 2004 F 10 4 4 18
7 Carol Bryant Athletics
Table tennis
Swimming
Wheelchair fencing
1964 - 1976, 1988 F 10 2 5 17
8 Chris Holmes Swimming 1988 - 2000 M 9 5 1 15
9 Robin Surgeoner Swimming 1984 - 1988 M 9 0 0 9
10 Robert Matthews Athletics 1984 - 2004 M 8 4 1 13
11 Jody Cundy Swimming
Cycling
1996 - 2020 M 8 3 1 12
12 Sophie Christiansen Equestrian 2004 - 2016 F 8 1 1 10
13 Hannah Cockroft Athletics 2012 - 2020 F 7 0 0 7
14 James Anderson Swimming 1992 - 2012 M 6 9 2 17
15 Valerie Robertson Archery
Athletics
Swimming
Wheelchair fencing
1964 - 1976 F 6 4 2 12
16 Dick Thompson Athletics
Wheelchair basketball
1960 - 1968 M 6 3 6 15
17 Darren Kenny Cycling 2004 - 2012 M 6 3 1 10
18 David Weir Athletics 2004 - 2016 M 6 2 2 10
19 Janice Burton Swimming 1984 - 1996 F 5 10 5 20
20 James Muirhead Swimming 1976 - 1984 M 5 5 3 13
21 Noel Thatcher Athletics 1984 - 2004 M 5 4 2 11
22 Barbara Anderson Archery
Swimming
Table tennis
1960 - 1972 F 5 2 0 7
David Ellis Swimming 1964 - 1972 M 5 2 0 7
23 Ellie Simmonds Swimming 2008 - 2016 F 5 1 2 8
24 Anne Dunham Equestrian 1996 - 2008 F 5 1 1 7
25 Colin Keay Athletics 1984 - 1988 M 5 1 0 6
26 Michael Walker Athletics 1988 - 1992 M 5 0 0 5
Natasha Baker Equestrian 2012 - 2016 F 5 0 0 5
28 Margaret Maughan Archery
Dartchery
Lawn bowls
Swimming
1960 - 1980 F 4 2 0 6
Deborah Criddle Equestrian 2004 - 2012 F 4 2 0 6
30 Caroline Innes Athletics 1992 - 2000 F 4 1 0 5
31 James Crisp Swimming 2000 - 2012 M 3 6 3 12
32 Margaret McEleny Swimming 1992 - 2004 F 3 5 7 15
33 Jeanette Chippington Swimming
Paracanoe
1988 - 2004, 2016 F 3 4 6 13
34 Nigel Coultas Athletics 1988 - 1992 M 3 4 0 7
35 Stephen Payton Athletics 1996 - 2008 M 3 2 4 9
36 Giles Long Swimming 1996 - 2004 M 3 2 2 7
37 Kadeena Cox Athletics
Cycling
2016 - 2020 F 3 1 1 5
38 Nicola Tustain Equestrian 2000 - 2004 F 3 0 3 6
39 Kenny Churchill Athletics 1992 - 2008 M 3 0 2 5
40 Peter Hull Swimming 1988 - 1992 M 3 0 0 3
41 Martin Mansell Swimming 1984 - 1988 M 2 5 1 8
42 Clare Cunningham Swimming
Triathlon
1992 - 1996, 2016 F 1 4 0 5

Multi medals at single GamesEdit

This is a list of British athletes who have won at least two gold medals in a single Games. Ordered categorically by gold (then silver then bronze) medals earned, sports then year.

No. Athlete Sport Year Gender Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Pauline Foulds   Swimming 1960 F 5 0 0 5
Robin Surgeoner   Swimming 1984 M 5 0 0 5
3 Dick Thompson   Athletics 1960 M 4 0 1 7
  Wheelchair basketball 0 1 1
4 Darren Kenny   Cycling 2008 M 4 1 0 5
5 Michael Walker   Athletics 1988 M 4 0 0 4
Barbara Anderson   Swimming 1960 F 3 0 0 4
  Table tennis 1 0 0
7 Janice Burton   Swimming 1992 F 3 4 0 7
8 James Crisp   Swimming 2000 M 3 2 2 7
9 Sarah Bailey   Swimming 1996 F 3 1 1 5
10 Nigel Coultas   Athletics 1988 M 3 1 0 4
Bethany Firth   Swimming 2016 F 3 1 0 4
12 Stephen Payton   Athletics 1996 M 3 0 1 4
13 Colin Keay   Athletics 1984 M 3 0 0 3
Peter Hull   Swimming 1992 M 3 0 0 3
15 Joanne Rout   Swimming 1988 F 2 3 0 5
16 Jeanette Chippington   Swimming 1996 F 2 1 2 5
17 Kadeena Cox   Athletics 2016 F 1 1 1 4
  Cycling 1 0 0
Ellie Simmonds   Swimming 2012 F 2 1 1 4
18 Thelma Young   Swimming 1988 F 2 0 2 4
19 Nicola Tustain   Equestrian 2000 F 2 0 1 3

Multi medals at a single eventEdit

This is a list of British athletes who have won at least two gold medals in a single event at the Summer Paralympics. Ordered categorically by medals earned, sports then gold medals earned.

No. Athlete Sport Event Years Games Gender Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Sascha Kindred   Swimming Men's 200m ind. medley 1996-2016 6 M 4 1 0 5
2 Tommy Taylor   Table tennis Men's doubles 1960-1980 6 M 4 0 1 5
3 Anne Dunham   Equestrian Team open 1996-2008 4 F 4 0 0 4
4 Stephen Miller   Athletics Men's club throw F32/51 1996-2016 6 M 3 1 2 6
5 Kenny Churchill   Athletics Men's javelin throw F36 1992-2004 4 M 3 0 1 4
6 Caroline Innes   Athletics Women's 100m T36 1992-2000 3 F 2 1 0 3
7 Emma Brown   Powerlifting Women's -82 kg 2000-2004 2 F 2 0 0 2
8 Bethany Firth[9]   Swimming Women's 100m backstroke S14 2016-2020 2 F 2 0 0 0

Most successful Paralympian in a sportEdit

This is a list of British athletes who are the most successful Para-athletes in their sport at the Summer Paralympics. Ordered categorically by medals earned, sports then gold medals earned.

Athlete Sport Years Gender Gold Silver Bronze Total
Lee Pearson   Equestrian 2000-2020 M 14 2 1 17
Sarah Storey   Cycling 1996-2020 F 9 0 0 9
Michael Shelton   Snooker 1960-1976 M 3 1 1 5
James Fox
Pamela Relph
Laurence Whiteley
Lauren Rowles
  Rowing 2012-2020 2 0 0 2

Most appearancesEdit

This is a list of British athletes who have competed in four or more Summer Paralympics. Active athletes are in bold. Athletes who were aged under 15 years of age and over 40 years of age are in bold.

No. Athlete Sport(s) Birth Year Games Years First/Last Age Gender Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Deanna Coates   Shooting 1954 1984 - 2012 (8) 30 - 58 F 3 3 2 8
Sarah Storey   Cycling
  Swimming
1973 1992 - 2020 (8) 15 - 43 F 15 8 3 26
2 Isabel Newstead   Athletics
  Shooting
  Swimming
1955 1980 - 2004 (7) 25 - 49 F 10 4 4 18
James Rawson   Table tennis 1965 1984 - 2008 (7) 19 - 43 M 5 1 2 8
Anthony Peddle   Powerlifting 1971 1988 - 2012 (7) 17 - 41 M 1 0 2 3
5 Robert Matthews   Athletics 1961 1984 - 2004 (6) 23 - 51 M 8 4 1 13
Jane Stidever   Swimming 1966 1984 - 2004 (6) 18 - 38 F 5 5 5 15
James Anderson   Swimming 1963 1992 - 2012 (6) 29 - 49 M 6 9 2 17
Jody Cundy   Cycling
  Swimming
1978 1996 - 2016 (6) 18 - 38 M 7 0 3 10
Stephen Miller   Athletics 1980 1996 - 2016 (6) 16 - 36 M 3 1 2 6
10 Christopher Holmes   Swimming 1971 1988 - 2000 (4) 17 - 29 M 9 5 1 15
Stephen Brunt   Athletics 1960 1988 - 2000 (4) 18 - 40 M 2 1 0 3

Winter ParalympicsEdit

No. Athlete Sport(s) Years Gender Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Menna Fitzpatrick
Guide: Jennifer Kehoe
Alpine Skiing 2018 F 1 2 1 4
2 Kelly Gallagher
Guide: Charlotte Evans
Alpine Skiing 2010-2014 F 1 0 0 1
3 Jade Etherington
Guide: Caroline Powell
Alpine Skiing 2014 F 0 3 1 4
4 Denise Smith Ice Sledge Speed Racing 1984 F 0 3 0 3
5 Richard Burt Alpine Skiing 1992-1994 M 0 1 3 4

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "London 2012 Paralympic Games | About Us". paralympic.org. IPC. Archived from the original on 1 July 2012. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  2. ^ "No place for 'NI', says Olympic Team GB", Belfast Telegraph, 10 March 2011
  3. ^ "Minister urges BOA to change 'erroneous Team GB name'". BBC News. 10 March 2011. Retrieved 27 April 2011.
  4. ^ "Full text of the constitution" (PDF). taoiseach.gov.ie. Department of the Taoiseach. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 April 2005. Retrieved 17 February 2010.
  5. ^ "Mike Kenny (swimmer)". Paralympians' Club. Retrieved 29 August 2012.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "Sarah Storey Britain's greatest Paralympian of the modern era". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
  7. ^ "Meet Britain's other greatest Paralympian". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 17 February 2012.
  8. ^ Olympic Broadcasting Service, channel IPC1, Paralympics International Feed, "2012 Summer Paralympics Opening Ceremonies", airdate 29 August 2012
  9. ^ Firth also won the same event in 2012 representing Ireland