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Hannah Cockroft MBE

Dr Ian Thompson coached me for the first year of my career, guiding me on to the Great Britain Paralympic development team.  As I moved forward, I dropped both basketball and discus to concentrate on wheelchair racing.  I also joined a new coach, Peter Eriksson, who is widely regarded as one of the top wheelchair racing coaches in the world, having taken his athletes to over 110 World and Paralympic medals. With his experience, in three years, I progressed from novice to elite status in the Paralympic world.  In 2010 I broke my first world record in the T34 400m.  I now hold the world records at T34 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m.  In June 2010 I broke 7 world records in 8 days, at the same time as becoming 'Prom Queen', completing my A-Level exams and competing in my first ever International overseas competition.  Phew!


In 2011 I was selected for the IPC World Athletics Championships, held in New Zealand.  My senior debut on the Great Britain team saw me bring home two Gold medals and 'Hurricane Hannah' was born.  This achievement made me a solid contender on the start line of the London 2012 Paralympic games. Although it was my first games, the pressure was wasted on me and the nation's 'sweetheart' thundered into the record books, bringing home double Gold and breaking four paralympic records in the T34 100m and 200m.  Following this victorious performance, I was named on the Queens New Years Honours list in 2013 and was proud to be awarded an MBE.  I also received the freedom of Calderdale upon my return from the games.


So, that 'anything to be famous' dream took just five years of dedication and very hard work, along with the ability to dream very big.  I'm riding the wave of a 'celebrity' life, taking every opportunity as it comes and loving every minute.  I've worked the red carpet at awards ceremonies such as Pride of Britain, BBC Sports Personality and National Television.  I've done fashion shoots for Marie Claire and Fabulous magazines and appeared on the TV programmes Countryfile, Celebrity Mastermind and 8 out of 10 Cats.


In 2013, Peter Eriksson stepped down as my coach following his promotion to Head Coach of the Olympic team. Jenni Banks has now taken on the reins and is putting me through my paces so I can remain Number 1 in the world.  Under Jenni, I went on to win two Gold medals, the T34 100m and 200m, at the IPC World Championships in Lyon. I also won two Gold medals in the IPC European Championships in Swansea, this time in the T34 100m and 800m, to give me the full set of World, European and Paralympic medals.  The Euros presented a new challenge for me as the IPC had decided not to hold the 200m distance going forward, meaning the shortest distances now available to me are 100m and 800m.  I made the decision to go for the 100m & 800m double as these are the only race distances that will be available to me in the Rio 2016 Paralympics.  As you can imagine, for a sprinter, 800m is a long way and the race strategy is very different as it is not raced in lanes and therefore very tactical.  It's a massive challenge, and it's very different, but you may have understood by now, that challenges are what I thrive on. 


My Sporting Life