Olivia Breen’s Paralympic and Scholarship journey by dad Michael | Athletics News

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“I had no idea what the future would be like for Olivia. We thought we would open up a coffee shop and she would own and run it.”

Sports lawyer Michael Breen has by no means been afraid to voice his opinions however he has each proper to be fiercely proud and passionate when discussing his daughter’s vulnerabilities and achievements.

Olivia Breen, 23 and born with cerebral palsy, received relay gold at London 2012, suffered a troublesome Rio Games in 2016 throughout her time as a Sky Scholar (final within the lengthy bounce and dropped simply earlier than the relay remaining), solely to hit again and turn out to be World and Commonwealth champion.

As Sky celebrates eight years of its Scholarship programme, Michael Breen opens on how being a Scholar boosted Olivia and how her situation and character have formed her outstanding journey.


“Olivia has needed to cope with many bodily issues; she has cerebral palsy, studying difficulties and she is deaf.

“Never in our wildest desires did we think about she would turn out to be knowledgeable athlete.

“Even if we had these desires we would by no means thought she would be capable of obtain all she has achieved as knowledgeable athlete.

“Given every little thing she’s confronted with, her tenacity, dedication and dedication to hold on within the face of adversity, she’s by no means given up.

“She’s thought she deserves to be right here and determined to make her mark in Paralympic sport and believed she was a real Paralympian.

“Para sport has many difficulties anyway nevertheless it’s all about truthful competitors and being the very best you will be. She is unquestionably the very best she will be. That is why we’re so very happy with her.

“Being a mum or dad of a para athlete is attention-grabbing!

“Helen (Olivia’s mum) does many of the work nevertheless it’s all concerning the crew and as a crew there are many issues to organise.

“Things like ensuring all of the dietary supplements she takes are OK, preserving throughout the anti-doping whereabouts scheme and numerous different sensible stuff.

“And for Olivia, she will get on and trains. She can prepare 365 days a yr however she’ll must be targeted for that someday within the yr when she must be on it.

“Our proudest day was her successful bronze at London 2012. She had simply turned 16 and was competing in entrance of all her faculty mates. Then she received lengthy bounce gold on the London World Championships in 2017 and gold on the Commonwealths in Australia.

“There are just a few highs however there have been many dangerous days. Sport is troublesome however there are various difficulties in Para Olympic sport which make issues exhausting and unfair.

“Overall, it is a terrific factor to do and we’re blissful that it makes Olivia blissful. The excessive days nearly stability out the low days!

“We are so very grateful that Olivia received on the Scholarship. We had been delighted and excited once we came upon and the very first thing Tony Lester (Head of Inspiring Young People) mentioned was get knowledgeable coach.

“So she began in St Albans aged 16 and it was an enormous shock as a result of it meant transferring away from house. But that each one labored effectively as a result of she turned very unbiased in a short time.

“The Scholarship is likely one of the finest issues Sky do. All viewers love their sport and I simply assume it is nice they provide one thing again to aspiring younger sports activities stars in Britain and Ireland.”


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