London 2012, what an amazing experience!
The run up to the Paralympic Games was a long road filled with ups and downs, but one thing constantly spurred me on - the honour of competing in the Paralympics in my home country. Competing in the Games on your home turf could potentially be the pinnacle of a sporting career; I didn't want anything to stand in the way of my dream.
After suffering some setbacks in the build-up to London 2012, I felt that my chances of finishing on the podium in the women's H 1-3 were slim; I knew I'd have to give everything I had to put myself into medal contention. Fighting spirit prevailed, the training and preparation paid off as I and my teammate, Karen Darke were recorded as finishing the race in the same time, 1h 43min 08 seconds. Halfway around the last lap we had dropped everybody else, and we knew we weren't going to catch the Americans who were leading, but we knew we were safe for bronze. We have worked so hard together over the last two or three years, we couldn't bear the thought of crossing the line ahead of each other, so we said, 'let's do it, we'll cross together'. It has been quite emotional in the last few weeks and this year has been a bit tough, so we thought this would be the best way to finish a great race.
I and Karen had worked so hard together to reach this point and having been able to share the moment with her was an experience I will never forget. They had awarded two medals for equal times in previous London 2012 events so it was a shame they didn't feel it appropriate in this case, but the important thing was that we got to share the moment together. Although we did not officially get to share the medal, we both took the podium, knowing we were both winners. I'd had a tough year and given the road accident I'd been involved in just months previous, this bronze medal meant more to me than the gold I won in Beijing. The injuries to my skull and shoulder have been challenging to train with, but it's just one of those things you have to do, I didn't want to miss the Games.
I can only thank everybody who made my dream happen; my physiotherapist, everybody at the University of Kent, Karen and my family and friends. Thank you everyone for your constant support and inspirational comments before and after the Games, it will not be forgotten.
Together, we made it an unforgettable year.