Welsh Paralympic athlete Olivia Breen has an inspiring message for anyone looking to play sport after realizing her lifelong dream of winning a medal at the Games.
Breen broke a Paralympic record and set a new personal best, en route to a bronze in the T38 long jump on Tuesday.
Breen said she was “ecstatic” after finishing on the podium for the first time at the Paralympic Games.
She said: “The sport is amazing.”
âSport can change your life like it has for me. Find your passion and keep going – never give up.
“It can be a trip and there can be downs, but with times like this, it’s totally worth it.”
When asked what impact the coronavirus pandemic had had on her preparations, she replied that she was able to make the most of it.
âThe pandemic really helped me because it meant I could work on my weaknesses and it obviously really paid off.
“I was like ‘what’s the point of stopping training?’ And it really paid off.”
She continued, “Ten years of hard work and I finally have my individual medal and I am just thrilled.”
Breen set a new Paralympic record with her first jump of 4.91m.
But it didn’t last long with Luca Ekler of Hungary rising to a massive world record of 5.63m to win gold and Russian Margarita Goncharova second in 5.29m.
Breen made headlines ahead of the start of the Paralympic Games after a the manager said his running briefs were “too short”.
Breen spoke to Channel 4 after the event and said, âI’m over the moon. I’ve been working for five years for this and I’m so happy it turned out.
“I was so, so nervous but I tried to tell myself to enjoy it. It’s a lucky stadium for me and, during the pandemic, it’s amazing that the Games were held.”
The long jump is Breen’s second event in Tokyo. She was sixth in the T38 100 meters last week after finishing in 13.13 seconds.