Tag Archives: paralympic

Pistorius ready to begin training as murder suspect visits Pretoria training base

Pistorius ready to begin training as murder suspect visits Pretoria training base

By
Associated Press

PUBLISHED:

17:56 GMT, 3 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

07:14 GMT, 4 April 2013

Oscar Pistorius wants to train again and recently went back to visit his regular track in South Africa’s capital.

There was still no decision on an exact time-frame for the multiple Paralympic champion’s return to regular running, but Pistorius told his agent Peet van Zyl and coach Ampie Louw at a Tuesday meeting that he was 'definitely keen to get back on track to resume training,' the agent said.

'When, exactly, is his choice,' Van Zyl told AP on Wednesday.

Granted: Oscar Pistorius was freed on bail after being charged with the murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp

Granted: Oscar Pistorius was freed on bail after being charged with the murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp

Pistorius had also revisited his practice track in Pretoria on March 24, although he didn’t train, the agent said.

Pistorius last trained on a track over two months ago, and his last competitive race was his victory in the 400m final at the London Paralympics in September last year.

Van Zyl said Pistorius wasn’t ready 'mentally' to compete yet after he was charged with murder in the February 14 shooting of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his home.

'From our meeting, it was clear and evident it’s going to take some time for him (to be ready to compete),” Van Zyl said. 'He’s trying to process this whole ordeal.'

Pistorius had also told his agent and coach that he would only consider running at the world championships in Moscow in August if he was in the right shape to run at the top level again.

'He (Pistorius) stated to me clearly yesterday, for the world champs, first he needs to be in some form,' Van Zyl said.

Back on track: Pistorius is keen to make a return to training, according to his agent

Back on track: Pistorius is keen to make a return to training, according to his agent

Still, Pistorius’ first significant move toward a return to the track on his carbon fiber running blades came at the meeting with his management team at the home of his uncle, Arnold Pistorius, on Tuesday night.

The 26-year-old Olympian has been staying at the house in the eastern suburbs of Pretoria since he was granted bail on February 22.

Victim: Steenkamp was shot dead in Pistorius' Pretoria apartment

Victim: Steenkamp was shot dead in Pistorius' Pretoria apartment

Pistorius denies murdering Steenkamp and says he shot her accidentally after mistaking her for an intruder in his house.

Prosecutors have charged him with pre-meditated murder and say he intentionally shot Steenkamp multiple times after the couple argued in the early hours of Valentine’s Day.

His next court appearance is on June 4.

Pistorius had visited his training track at the University of Pretoria with some other athletes, but hadn’t worked out properly, only doing a little jogging, Van Zyl said.

Although a high court ruling last week eased Pistorius’ bail restrictions on appeal and allowed him to travel to compete, Van Zyl said it would still take time to be ready for track meets.

'He hasn’t trained at all since the incident and you can’t expect him to go into competition. More important, mentally he is not there yet, he is some way off,' the agent said.

Long-time coach Louw, who discovered the double amputee’s talent for running when he was still a teenager, was eager, however, for the athlete to get back to training to help his mental process.

'Ampie was quite keen for him to start training as soon as possible so Oscar can get into some kind of routine,' Van Zyl said.

Oscar Pistorius charged with murder: Reeva Steenkamp dead

Blade Runner Pistorius charged with murder after girlfriend is found shot dead at his home in South Africa

Pistorius in custodySprinter believed to have told police he thought girlfriend was an intruderDead woman is former FHM model Reeva SteenkampShe was shot several times in the head, chest and the armMedia reporting it could have been a Valentine's Day surprise gone wrongIncident happened on his Pretoria farm, north-east of Johannesburg at 3am

Olympic and Paralympic Games” class=”blkBorder” />

Star attraction: Pistorius competed at both the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games

Star attraction: Pistorius competed at both the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games
When Sportsmail met the Blade Runner:

This is an extract from an interview in August 2011 with Pistorius at his home, a year before Olympics.

Sportsmail's Jonathan McEvoy: 'This being South Africa, one baseball bat and one cricket bat lie behind Pistorius's bedroom door. A revolver is at his bedside. A machine gun by his window.'

It was reported that his girlfriend, former FHM model Miss Steenkamp, 30, was trying to surprise him for Valentine's Day and he thought she was an intruder.

He is expected to appear in Pretoria
Magistrates’ Court later on Thursday.

Police revealed that a 9mm pistol was
recovered from the scene and that 26-year-old Pistorius had been taken into custody. The
woman was apparently shot four times.

Police spent the morning investigating the scene and taking statements are being taken from neighbours.

Paramedics were called to the house
after the shooting and attempted to resuscitate the woman before
declaring her dead at the scene.

Access all areas: Sportsmail were allowed into Pretorius' Pretoria home last year

Access all areas: Sportsmail were allowed into Pretorius' Pretoria home last year

Access all areas: Sportsmail were allowed into Pretorius' Pretoria home last year

Access all areas: Sportsmail were allowed into Pretorius' Pretoria home last year
Pistorius' medal haul:

Paralympics

2004 Athens – Bronze 100 m (T44) Gold 200 m (T44)
2008 Beijing – Gold 100 m (T44) Gold 200 m (T44) Gold 400 m (T44)
2012 London – Silver 200 m (T44) Gold 400 m (T44) Gold 4 100 m relay (T42–T46)

World Championships

Daegu 2011 – Silver 4 400 m relay

Police spokeswoman Katlego Mogale said: 'I can confirm that a woman has been fatally wounded in a shooting at Oscar Pistorius' house.

'A 26-year-old man has been taken into custody.

'The incident happened at
3am. We received a call and attended the scene. The call did not come
from the man in custody but from another person.

'Currently there is an inquiry into what happened.'

A police spokesman added: ‘We can't
comment on his emotional well-being, but he is traumatised after losing
someone close to him.’

Sarit Tomlinson, Steenkamp’s
publicist, told Sky News: ‘She was the sweetest human being and an
absolute angel on earth. She was the kindest, most unbelievable girl.

Flying the flag: Pistorius leads out his fellow South Africans at the Paralympics

Flying the flag: Pistorius leads out his fellow South Africans at the Paralympics

Flying the flag: Pistorius leads out his fellow South Africans at the Paralympics

This tragedy has happened before:

A former South African rugby player was charged with murder in 2004 after he mistook his daughter for a car thief and shot her dead in the family’s driveway.

Rudi Visagie thought his 19-year-old daughter Marle was asleep when he heard her Volkswagen Golf being driven away in Maggiesdal, in the Mpumalanga province.

He got out of bed, took his 7.65mm pistol, and fired a shot through the bedroom window.

When he went outside he found his daughter slumped behind the wheel. She was declared dead upon arrival at hospital an hour later.

She had been on her way to surprise her boyfriend on his birthday.

‘They had been together for a couple
of months and it had been a healthy, fabulous relationship. At the
moment it’s shocking. No-one knows what’s happened.

‘She was a rising star. There was so much in the pipeline for her: she was just about to explode into the media.

‘She was a very talented, very bright young girl. It’s too shocking for words. We’ll miss her so much, too much. Our condolences go to her family.’

Steenkamp tweeted just hours before her death: 'What do you have up your sleeve for your love tomorrow #getexcited #ValentinesDay'

Pistorius recently took a New York Times
reporter to a shooting range with a 9mm handgun. The article which
followed reads: 'Pistorius was a good coach. A couple of my shots got
close to the bull’s-eye, which delighted him. “Maybe you should do this
more,” he said. “If you practiced, I think you could be pretty deadly.” I
asked him how often he came to the range. “Just sometimes when I can’t
sleep,” he said.'

Peet van Zyl, Pistorius' manager who assisted at the scene on Thursday morning, said he would not comment.

Tragedy: The woman found dead is believed to be Reeva Steenkamp (left)

Tragedy: The woman found dead is believed to be Reeva Steenkamp (left)

'I can only confirm there was an incident and a woman was killed,' Van Zyl told Beeld. 'I do not want to speculate about what happened.'

Arnu
Fourie, Pistorius' room-mate during last year's Paralympics, said shortly
after he heard the news, 'my heart is broken for Oscar'.

Fourie said after he practised on
Thursday morning in Stellenbosch that he had dozens of messages on his
phone about the incident.

'I feel for Oscar and the girl's family, I pray for him and her family, I can not imagine how they feel,' Fourie added.

Investigation: A forensics van drives away from the estate where Pistorius lives

Investigation: A forensics van drives away from the estate where Pistorius lives

'Poor Oscar in his life had so many disappointments and tough times. Now. My heart is broken.'

The International Paralympic Committee expressed sorrow on hearing of the incident.

In a statement, it said: 'Following the
news of the alleged shooting incident involving South African athlete
Oscar Pistorius this morning, the International Paralympic Committee
(IPC) will not be passing any comment on the case at this time.

'This is a police matter, with a
formal investigation currently underway. Therefore it would be
inappropriate for the IPC to comment on this incident until the official
police process has concluded.

Poster boy: Pistorius was billed as one of the heroes of London 2012

Poster boy: Pistorius was billed as one of the heroes of London 2012

'The IPC would like to offer its deepest sympathy and condolences to all families involved in this case.'

Gideon Sam, president of the South
African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), said he did
not want to say anything until he did not have more details.

'SASCOC, like the rest of the public,
knows no more than what is in the public domain, which is there has
been an alleged fatal shooting on the basis of a mistaken identity and
an apparent assumption of a burglary,' a statement read.

Pistorius' tattoos:

Body art: Pistorius shows off one of his tattoos - a bible passage

Oscar Pistorius has two tattoos – each with a deep personal significance.

On the inside of his right arm, he has his mother's date of birth and date of death tattooed.

His mother Sheila died 10 years ago, at the age of 42, from an allergic reaction to her medication and Pistorius credits her as being a major influence in his life.

When his mother made the decision to
amputate his legs at 11 months, she wrote him a letter which read: 'The
real loser is never the person who crosses the finishing line last. The
real loser is the person who sits on the side. The person who does not
even try to compete.'

On his left shoulder (right), he a version of
the Bible verse 1 Corinthians 9:26-27, which begins: 'I do not run like a
man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. I
execute each strike with intent. I beat my body and make it my
slave…'

Behind the scenes: Pistorius plays with his dogs and his guitar at his home last year

Behind the scenes: Pistorius plays with his dogs and his guitar at his home last year

Behind the scenes: Pistorius plays with his dogs and his guitar at his home last year
The reaction on Twitter:

Adam Gemili, British sprinter: 'Terrible news to wake up to about Oscar Pistorius! Thoughts are with him!'

Michael Rimmer, British Olympic 800m runner: '#PrayersForoscar'

Jessica Ennis, British Olympic gold medallist: 'Woken up to the horrendous news about Oscar Pistorius mistakenly shooting his girlfriend. What an awful tragedy.'

Phillips Idowu, British triple jumper: 'Waking up to extremely sad news about Oscar Pistorius mistakenly shooting his girlfriend. Terrible tragedy, thoughts & prayers with you.'

Sarah Storey, British Paralympian: 'Such sad news that Oscar mistook his girlfriend for an intruder :('

Michael Owen, ex-England footballer: ' My word, if these reports on @SkyNewsBreak are true, this story regarding Oscar Pistorius accidentally killing his girlfriend is horrific.'

Iwan Thomas, former British 400m runner: 'I am in total shock to hear the news about athlete and friend Oscar, my thoughts are with him and all involved. That's all I have to say'

Gurthro Steenkamp, South African rugby player: 'My condolences and prayer go out to the family and friends of #ReevaSteenkamp and #Oscar ! #shocked'

Marlon Devonish, former British sprinter: 'Terrible and tragic news about
@OscarPistorius my heart goes out to all involved.'

Danny Cipriani, England rugby player: 'It's shocking to read the Oscar Pistorius
story as an Englishman, shows the level of worry and crime in SA.'

'The
organisation is in no position to comment on the incident other than to
say our deepest sympathy and condolences have been expressed to the
families of all concerned.'

Pistorius,
nicknamed the Blade Runner, made history at the London Olympics last
year when he became the first double-amputee runner to compete on the
track at the Games and is one of South Africa's most famous sportsmen and a national hero.

Having had both his legs amputated
below the knee when he was less than a year old, he campaigned for years
to be allowed to compete against able-bodied athletes and finally was
cleared by sport's highest court to be able to run at the top events.

He competed in the 400 metres and on
South Africa's 4×400 relay team at the London Games and also retained
his Paralympic title in the 400 metres in London.

South Africa has some of the world's
highest rates of violent crime and some home-owners carry weapons to
defend themselves against intruders.

Great Britain’s 400m runner Martyn Rooney had been living and training with Pistorius in Gauteng until only three days ago.

Pistorius was scheduled to run two races in Australia next month – the Sydney Track Classic on Saturday, March 9 and the Go for 2&5 Perth Track Classic on Saturday, March 16.

On January 19 he took part in the Africa Cup of Nations opening ceremony, carrying a South African flag onto the field in his capacity as ‘the ambassador of peace for the African Union’.

On February 7 he presented the Deloitte Outstanding Contribution to South Africa Sport trophy to AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla, Jacques Rudolph and Faf Du Plessis who collected the award on behalf of the South African cricket team. Pistorius won the award last year.

VIDEO: Oscar Pistorius' girlfriend shot dead in South Africa

Play Video

Loading video…

DM.has('rcpv37065','BC',
'renderConfig' :

'css' : “videoplayer-large”,
'autoplay' : false,
'muted' : false,
'adUrl' : “http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/adssz=8×8&iu=%2F7023%2Fdm.video%2Fdm_video_homehp&ciu_szs=&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=xml_vast2&unviewed_position_start=1&url=[referrer_url]&correlator=[timestamp]”,
'playerId' : “1989148206001”,
'playerKey' : “AQ~~,AAAAAFSL1bg~,CmS1EFtcMWELN_eSE9A7gpcGWF5XAVmI”,
'objId' : “rcpv37065”,
'videoPlayer' : “2163666995001”,
'width' : 636,
'height' : 358,
'linkBaseURL' : “http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/othersports/article-2278472/Oscar-Pistorius-charged-murder-Reeva-Steenkamp-dead.html”

});

No fear: Pistorius poses for Sportsmail's Andy Hooper last year

No fear: Pistorius poses for Sportsmail's Andy Hooper last year

OSCAR PISTORIUS FACT FILE

1986: Born November 22, in Pretoria, South Africa, without the fibula in both legs.
1987: October – aged 11 months, his
parents make the decision to have his legs amputated below the knee.
Despite this he played rugby, water polo and tennis as a schoolboy.
2004: January – After shattering his
right knee playing rugby he reverts to athletics at the age of 17. Runs
the 100 metres at an open competition at the Pilditch Stadium in
Pretoria. Despite only training for two months, he sets a new world
record of 11.51sec.
September: Wins gold in the 200m at
the Paralympic Games in Athens, setting a new world record of 21.97sec,
and bronze in the 100m.
2005: March – Competes in the open/able-bodied category at the South African Open Championships, finishing sixth in the 400m.
May 15 – Wins the 100m and 200m at the Paralympic World Cup in Manchester, both in world record times.
2006: September – Wins three golds in the 100m, 200m and 400m at the IPC World Championships in Holland.
2007: April – Breaks his own 100m and
200m world records at the Nedbank Championships for the Physically
Disabled, winning gold in both events.
December 9 – Awarded the BBC Sports
Personality of the Year Helen Rollason award, for outstanding courage
and achievement in the face of adversity.
2008: January – Athletics' world
governing body the IAAF rules that Pistorius' prosthetic legs are
ineligible for use in competitions conducted under its rules, including
the Olympic Games.
February – Appeals against the IAAF's decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
May – Makes Time magazine's annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
May 16 – Court of Arbitration for Sport reverses the IAAF's ban, allowing Pistorius to try to qualify for the Olympics.
July 16 – Pistorius fails in his final
attempt to achieve the able-bodied Olympic qualifying time for the 400m,
despite running a personal best of 46.25sec.
September – Competes at the Paralympic
Games in Beijing, winning the 100m, 200m (in a Paralympic record time)
and the 400m (in a world record time).
2011: July 19 – Sets personal best in 400m of 45.07sec, meeting the World Championship and Olympic Games qualification mark.
August – Included in the South Africa
team for the World Championships in Daegu. Qualifies for the semi-finals
of the 400m.
Runs the opening leg of a semi-final
4x400m relay as South Africa set a national record, but not selected for
the final where his country win silver.
2012: July 4 – Named in the South African Olympic team for the 400m and the 4x400m relay.
August 4 – Becomes the first amputee
runner at the Olympics when he finishes second in a 400m heat. He was
eliminated at the semi-final stage.
August 9 – Part of the South Africa
team which finishes eighth in the 4x400m final. Pistorius is chosen to
carry his country's flag at the closing ceremony.
August 29 – Carries the flag at the Paralympics closing ceremony.
September 2 – Finishes second in the
final of the 200m T44 classification, squandering a lengthy lead to Alan
Oliveira. After the race, Pistorius raises issue with the length of his
Brazilian rival's blades, causing a huge media storm. Later apologises.
September 8 – Secures gold in the 400m at the Paralympic Games.
2013: February 14 – A 30-year-old woman
is shot and killed at Pistorius' home in Pretoria. Police question a
26-year-old man, reported locally to be Pistorius, over the shooting.

Oscar Pistorius girlfriend dead

Pistorius being questioned by police after girlfriend found shot dead at his home in South Africa

Olympic and Paralympic Games” class=”blkBorder” />

Star attraction: Pistorius competed at both the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games

Star attraction: Pistorius competed at both the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games
When Sportsmail met the Blade Runner:

This is from an interview in August 2011 with Pistorius at his home, a year before Olympics. Written by Sportsmail’s Jon McEvoy:

'This being South Africa, one baseball bat and one cricket bat lie behind Pistorius's bedroom door. A revolver is at his bedside. A machine gun by his window.'

Police spokesperson Katlego Mogale told eNCA that she could not confirm the man's identity until he appears in court.

She added that a 9mm pistol was recovered from the scene and a case of murder is being investigated. The woman was apparently shot four times.

Police are still busy with preliminary investigations on the scene, and statements are being taken from neighbours.

Access all areas: Sportsmail were allowed into Pretorius' Pretoria home last year

Access all areas: Sportsmail were allowed into Pretorius' Pretoria home last year

Access all areas: Sportsmail were allowed into Pretorius' Pretoria home last year

Access all areas: Sportsmail were allowed into Pretorius' Pretoria home last year
Pistorius' medal haul:

Paralympics

2004 Athens – Bronze 100 m (T44) Gold 200 m (T44)
2008 Beijing – Gold 100 m (T44) Gold 200 m (T44) Gold 400 m (T44)
2012 London – Silver 200 m (T44) Gold 400 m (T44) Gold 4 100 m relay (T42–T46)

World Championships

Daegu 2011 – Silver 4 400 m relay

Paramedics were called to the house after the shooting and declared the woman dead at the scene.

Police captain Sarah Mcira told local media that a woman – who died at the scene – was shot in the head and arm.

The police spokeswoman declined to confirm the identity of the man in custody.

'I can confirm that a woman has been fatally wounded in a shooting at Oscar Pistorius' house,' the spokeswoman said.

'A 26-year-old man has been taken into custody.'

Flying the flag: Pistorius leads out his fellow South Africans at the Paralympics

Flying the flag: Pistorius leads out his fellow South Africans at the Paralympics

Flying the flag: Pistorius leads out his fellow South Africans at the Paralympics

Mogale said: 'The incident happened at 3am. We received a call and attended the scene. The call did not come from the man in custody but from another person.

'Currently there is an inquiry into what happened.'

Tragedy: The woman found dead is believed to be Reeva Steenkamp (left)

Tragedy: The woman found dead is believed to be Reeva Steenkamp (left)

Mogale says when police arrived they
found paramedics trying to revive a 30-year-old woman who had been shot
an unspecified number of times. Mogale says the woman died at the house.

Officers found a 9-mm pistol at the scene and took the 26-year-old Pistorius into custody.

Behind the scenes: Pistorius plays with his dogs and his guitar at his home last year

Behind the scenes: Pistorius plays with his dogs and his guitar at his home last year

Behind the scenes: Pistorius plays with his dogs and his guitar at his home last year

Body art: Pistorius shows off one of his tattoos - a bible passage

Body art: Pistorius shows off one of his tattoos – a bible passage

The incident occurred at Pistorius' home in the Silver Lakes area of Pretoria.

Pistorius, who races wearing carbon
fibre prosthetic blades after he was born without a fibula in both legs,
was the first double amputee to run in the Olympics and reached the 400
semi-finals in London 2012.

South Africa has some of the world's
highest rates of violent crime and some home-owners carry weapons to
defend themselves against intruders.

No fear: Pistorius poses for Sportsmail's Andy Hooper last year

No fear: Pistorius poses for Sportsmail's Andy Hooper last year

Sarah Story named Dame in New Year Honours List

Fairy Storey! Dame Sarah and Weirwolf head list of Paralympic heroes honoured

|

UPDATED:

00:02 GMT, 29 December 2012

Sarah Storey won Great Britain's first gold medal of a memorable Paralympic Games and has now completed a stunning 2012 by being named a Dame in the Queen's New Year Honours.

Storey, like David Weir, finished with four gold medals from four events and carried the Union Flag at the closing ceremony along with the wheelchair racer, who has been awarded a CBE.

Scroll down for a full list of Paralympic Honours

Stars: Sarah Storey (above) has been named a Dame while David Weir (below) has been awarded a CBE

Stars: Sarah Storey (above) has been named a Dame while David Weir (below) has been awarded a CBE

David Weir celebrates winning Gold during the Men's 800m - T54 Final

Storey has been honoured for a Paralympic career which began as a 14-year-old swimmer in Barcelona in 1992 and featured four Games in the pool before she switched to the bike ahead of the Beijing Games in 2008.

In London, her sixth Games, the 35-year-old from Disley, Cheshire, took her tally to 11 Paralympic gold medals, equalling former wheelchair racer Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson's haul.

Storey and Weir were Britain's most prolific winners at the Paralympics as the hosts won 34 gold and 120 medals in all, while the nation marvelled at the athletes' ability, forgetting the impairment of an individual and concentrating on the sport.

'Wow, I am speechless but incredibly honoured and extremely proud to be able to accept the DBE,' said Storey, who recently announced she was pregnant.

Laden: Storey won four golds in London

Laden: Storey won four golds in London

'I never expected any additional awards after my sporting success.

'I love competing for my country and that is a huge honour in itself.

'Now to be a dame is beyond anything I could have ever imagined and I cannot thank my family, friends, coaches and support staff over all the years enough for their devotion in helping me to follow the path of becoming the best athlete I can possibly be.'

Weir won the last home gold of a memorable summer with victory in the marathon on The Mall in front of Buckingham Palace.

The 33-year-old from Wallington, Surrey, led the athletics team to a series of stirring triumphs, including for amputee sprinter Jonnie Peacock, who won the blue riband event of the Games, the T44 100metres, ahead of the likes of Oscar Pistorius.

Peacock is awarded an MBE, as are fellow athletes Richard Whitehead, Aled Davies, Mickey Bushell, Hannah Cockroft, Aled Davies and Josie Pearson, who all won Paralympic gold to send a capacity 80,000 Olympic Stadium crowd into raptures.

Swimmer Ellie Simmonds was once again the darling of the Games, dealing with the expectation and her image staring down on all entering the Olympic Park from the Westfield Shopping Centre, by taking two titles before her 18th birthday, four years after two wins as a 13-year-old.

Simmonds is awarded an OBE, an honour also bestowed upon Sophie Christiansen, who won three equestrian gold medals in Greenwich.

She said: 'It's been a great honour to be included in the list which caps an amazing year for me personally and for British sport.'

Natasha Baker won two para-equestrian titles and is awarded an MBE along with Christiansen's team-mates in the team championship Deborah Criddle and Sophie Wells.

Ten-time Paralympic champion Lee
Pearson, the fourth member of the winning quartet, did not receive an
honour, having been made an MBE following the 2008 Games.

Sealed with a kiss: Ellie Simmonds (above) and Jonnie Peacock (below) were also among the gold medals

Sealed with a kiss: Ellie Simmonds (above) and Jonnie Peacock (below) were also among the gold medals

Jonnie Peacock

Storey's husband Barney also did not make the list, despite claiming his third Paralympic title in London.

His tandem partner Neil Fachie was awarded an MBE, as was tandem pilot rider Craig MacLean, who won an Olympic medal in Sydney in 2000 and piloted Anthony Kappes to gold in London.
Like Barney Storey, Kappes was not honoured this time around.

Road cyclist David Stone won road race gold at Brands Hatch, but also missed out on a fresh honour, having already been made an MBE.

All other London 2012 gold medal winners were honoured, with boccia player Nigel Murray given an MBE for his long and distinguished career which has featured two Paralympic titles and bronze in London.

PARALYMPIC ATHLETES HONOURED

DAME

Sarah Storey – cycling

CBE

David Weir – athletics

OBE

Sophie Christiansen – equestrian

Ellie Simmonds – swimming

MBE

Jessica-Jane Applegate – athletics
Natasha Baker – equestrian
Danielle Brown – archery
Mickey Bushell – athletics

Hannah Cockroft – athletics
Mark Colbourne – cycling
Josef Craig – swimming
Deborah Criddle – equestrian
Aled Davies – athleticsNeil Fachie – cycling
Jonathan Fox – swimming
Heather Frederiksen – swimming
Oliver Hynd – swimming
Helena Lucas – sailing
Craig MacLean – cycling
Nigel Murray – boccia
Jonnie Peacock – athletics
Josie Pearson – athletics
Pam Relph – rowing
Naomi Riches – rowing
James Roe – rowing
David Smith – rowing
Lily van den Broecke – rowing
Sophie Wells – equestrian
Richard Whitehead – athletics

Sportsmail"s Magnificent Seven, including Louis Smith and Tom Daley, come together for the final time

Thanks for being MAGNIFICENT! Sportsmail pays tribute to the seven athletes we have followed from 2005 to the 2012 Olympics

|

UPDATED:

00:04 GMT, 28 December 2012

Seven years ago, Sportsmail began following seven young athletes as they set out on their journeys to try to reach the 2012 Olympics and Paralympic Games in London.

Three of the original seven made it to the Games but two called time on their sporting careers before the start of this year. Their replacements, however, were both part of Team GB and Paralympics GB last summer.

It has been an enlightening experience, punctuated by extremes of success and disappointment, watching the development of these athletes' careers since 2005.

Recently, Sportsmail's Magnificent Seven met up for the final time and shared memories of their experiences.

Then and now: From left, Gemma Howell, Tom Daley, Louise Watkin, Sportsmail's Andy Hooper, Emily Pidgeon, Shanaze Reade and Louis Smith met up for one final time recently

Then and now: From left, Gemma Howell, Tom Daley, Louise Watkin, Sportsmail's Andy Hooper, Emily Pidgeon, Shanaze Reade and Louis Smith met up for one final time recently

As they were: The original Magnificent Seven lined up at Lord's, from left, Tom Daley, Louis Smith, Jean-Rene Badrick, Emily Pidgeon, Giles Scott, Rachael Latham and Shanaze Reade

As they were: The original Magnificent Seven lined up at Lord's, from left, Tom Daley, Louis Smith, Jean-Rene Badrick, Emily Pidgeon, Giles Scott, Rachael Latham and Shanaze Reade

Tom Daley, Diving, 18, from Plymouth

The youngest of the Magnificent Seven has become a superstar. Daley was selected for the Beijing Games aged just 14 after becoming a British and European champion in the 10-metre platform.

He added the world title in 2009, two Commonwealth golds (in the individual event and synchronised 10m platform) in 2010 and then won an emotional Olympic bronze medal in London, despite intense pressure and expectation and the passing of his father, Rob, in May 2011.

'When I look at some of the photos from 2005 I'm so small! It's crazy how much I've changed since then and what I've achieved in that time.

'Life's changed, too. In fact, it's stacked up to a whole new level since London. Going out anywhere, there are so many people who stop you and say, “Congratulations”.

'It's nice to feel appreciated and respected but it does feel weird that seven years of training were geared towards London 2012 and now it's been and gone.

Superstar: Tom Daley won a bronze medal in the men's 10m platform at the London Games

Superstar: Tom Daley won a bronze medal in the men's 10m platform at the London Games

In the spotlight: Daley (right) presented the Young Sports Personality of the Year award to Josef Craig (centre)

In the spotlight: Daley (right) presented the Young Sports Personality of the Year award to Josef Craig (centre)

WHERE IT ALL BEGAN…

The Magnificent Seven series originated in 2005 through Sportsmail selecting seven talented athletes to follow through to London 2012.

The National Lottery joined as partner in 2006 to promote their funding into the seven chosen athletes, along with over 1,200 other competitors, on their journey to the London 2012 Games.

National Lottery funding, originating directly from the Lottery-playing public across the UK, enables elite athletes to benefit from the world-class coaching, facilities and medical support, giving them every possible chance to succeed during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

As the nation's attention moves from the London 2012 Games to Rio 2016, The National Lottery will continue to invest in sports facilities, support staff and coaching, providing opportunities for future generations to succeed on an elite level.

No-one has contributed more to our athletes than National Lottery players, with more than 1,200 athletes having benefited from world-class coaching and support. www.national-lottery.co.uk/London2012

'I think 2012 changed the face of British sport but there was a bit of a crash after the Olympics when I thought, “I can't believe it's all over.” I'm slowly, gradually, building my way back up there.

'After the Games, I went on holiday with my family and then got two golds at the World Junior Championships: one in the 10-metre event and one in the 3m synchro with Jack Laugher. Then I went to Dubai with my friends and have been back at school catching up on my maths and Spanish A-levels. I want to get three A*s rather than three As.

'Rio in four years' time does seem a long way away, but there are also World Championships, European Championships and Commonwealth Games in between, so there's plenty to look forward to.

'I think in total I might make maybe four or five Olympic Games – depending on how diving moves on – but we'll get to Rio first. It's outdoors, which the Chinese don't like, and I love diving outdoors.'

Louise Watkin, Paralympic Swimming, 20, from Redhill (replaced Rachael Latham)

Latham, who was born with Erbs Palsy, which limits the use of her left arm, made two swimming finals at the Paralympic Games in Beijing.

She retired in 2010 due to injury but went on to become a Channel 4 presenter and was a Sportsmail columnist during the London Paralympics. Watkin, who has upper limb deficiency, won two Paralympic silvers and two bronzes in London.

Dazzling: Louise Watkin won four medals in the London Paralympic Games

Dazzling: Louise Watkin won four medals in the London Paralympic Games

'The Paralympics were amazing. I didn't want them to end. You could hear the crowd when you were under water in the Aquatics Centre. I came away with two medals from the individual events and two in the relays. It went brilliantly.

'In the past four years, the Paralympics has moved on so much. People are still talking about it now. It's nice so many people have got the Paralympics bug. 'I hope there will be more integration in the future. Come and watch us at the World Championships next year. Then hopefully I'll get my gold in Rio!'

Giles Scott, Sailing, 25, from Huntingdon

Scott was a world youth champion in the Laser class when he joined us in 2005 and became world champion in the Finn in 2011. The one major disappointment was missing out on London 2012.

Scott competes in the same class as Ben Ainslie and GB could only send one sailor. With Ainslie now retired, Rio 2016 cannot come soon enough.

Disappointed: Giles Scott missed out on the London Games as he was in the same division as gold medal winner Ben Ainslie

Disappointed: Giles Scott missed out on the London Games as he was in the same division as gold medal winner Ben Ainslie

Who they are

'I wouldn't call it bad luck, being in the same division as Ben. If I had performed at the right regatta it would have led to me being selected to go to the Olympics.

'I was unsure whether to watch the Olympics and some of it was hard, but I got into it and was probably as addicted as everyone else by the end. Since then I have joined an America's Cup team (Team Korea) and moved away from the UK. I wanted to broaden my horizons so I don't mess up for Rio like I did this time around.'

Emily Pidgeon, Athletics, 23, from Cheltenham

Pidgeon was an outstanding junior 5,000 metres runner but has struggled with injuries and found it difficult on the senior circuit. She still hopes her best years are to come.

Her boyfriend, GB runner Andrew Osagie, was in the fastest 800m race in history, the Olympic final in London.

'It has been an amazing journey. It's scary how quickly it's gone. I always thought I'd be there in London, so it's been up and down.

'When I realised I wasn't going to be
able to compete, it wasn't that I didn't want anything to do with the
Olympics but I just knew I'd find it hard to go and watch.

A first: Emily Pidgeon ran around the Olympic Park stadium before anyone else

A first: Emily Pidgeon ran around the Olympic Park stadium before anyone else

'But because I got injured in May I had dealt with that by the time the Olympics came round.

'I was determined to enjoy the experience and I'm so glad I did. I was there to watch Andrew in his heat and his final. I think there's a reason I was injured and I hope Rio will be my time.'

Gemma Howell, Judo, 22, from Telford (replaced Jean-Rene Badrick)

Badrick, then 16, won bronze at the European Youth Olympics but retired in 2010 through injury. Howell replaced him, battled back from serious injury and was selected for London.

She was disqualified in her first-round fight against world champion Gevrise Emane.

'It was the worst and best week of my life. I was devastated. When I came off the mat I wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible but then I thought, “I just have to use this going forward to Rio.”

Devastated: Gemma Howell was disqualified in her first round bout at the 2012 Olympics

Devastated: Gemma Howell was disqualified in her first round bout at the 2012 Olympics

'I was more nervous than I'd ever been. I have dreamed since I was little of being Olympic champion and I was a bit overwhelmed. Hopefully I can just get on with the job next time around.

'I've started a sport and exercise science degree at Bath University. My brain hurts after four years out of education. But while I want an Olympic medal more than anything, it's education and judo going forward.'

Louis Smith, Gymnastics, 23, Peterborough

In 2006, Smith won the Commonwealth pommel horse title aged 16 and has not looked back. He won Britain's first individual Olympic gymnastics medal for 100 years with a bronze in Beijing and went one better with silver in London.

He also won a bronze in the men's team event. Since the Games he has won the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing. 'No one would ever have thought we could have got that bronze in the team event. I didn't even think we could do it. It was a big statement to the rest of the world.

'It was really hard to come back again for my individual event. Winning the bronze was such a high and then you've got to come back down again for the event that was most important for me, and the one everyone expected me to do well in. It was tough but I'm glad I finished it the way I did.

Enjoying it Smith posed for Sportsmail on the back of a real 'pommel horse'

Enjoying it Smith posed for Sportsmail on the back of a real 'pommel horse'

Proud: Smith put in a sterling performance on the pommel horse to take silver home

Proud: Smith put in a sterling performance on the pommel horse to take silver home

A different route: Smith recently won the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing

A different route: Smith recently won the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing

'There are about seven different paths I could take now: fashion, property, sport. Do I carry on to Rio The Commonwealths When do I call it quits It's about making the right and the best decision, not necessarily the one everyone wants me to make.

'I want to start my own fashion range. It's something I've wanted to do for a while, although I won't be keeping any clothes I've worn on Strictly. They love their glitz and glam and shiny stuff!

'Magnificent Seven has been remarkable in so many different ways. It's been fantastic and we've done some funky stuff along the way.

'I never want to go on a horse again after that photoshoot when I pretended it was a pommel horse! I was scared stiff. I did it, although I probably wouldn't do it now!'

Shanaze Reade, BMX Cycling, 24, from Crewe

Reade went to Beijing as a world champion but crashed out in the final after deciding she would not settle for silver. Reade regained her BMX world title in 2010 and has also won two world championship golds on the track, but that Olympic medal still eludes her. Reade finished sixth in the BMX final in London.

'It was quite hard, mentally, after the Games. Everyone in British cycling did so well and I was tipped to get a medal but, again, I didn't fulfil my potential. I can definitely see what went wrong. It's about staying injury-free moving forward and just getting on that good mental pathway of getting some success under my belt and getting my confidence back.

'I have “Team Reade”, a group of people who I trust and I know will push me, to help me do that, but first and foremost it comes down to me.

Crushed: Shanaze Reade finished sixth in the final of the Olympics BMX Cycling

Crushed: Shanaze Reade finished sixth in the final of the Olympics BMX Cycling

Crushed: Shanaze Reade finished sixth in the final of the Olympics BMX Cycling

'I'm at a crossroads now where I feel I want to be world champion again in BMX, hopefully in New Zealand next year, and win a BMX Olympic medal. But then I've been world champion on the track and I also want to get further in that because I've only ever done six- to eight-week blocks of training. I would like to do the Commonwealth Games, and BMX isn't in it, so we'll see.

'I went to Beijing on such a high. I hadn't lost a race for six or seven years so I thought, “Why should it be any different”

'Coming into London was the opposite. I had been injured, missed races, crashed out of finals. I had never really fulfilled what I was capable of doing on the day. Now I don't want to short-change myself any longer.'

London 2012 Olympics ticket farce exposed

Just ONE ticket made available to paying public as Team GB stars win silver during Olympics

|

UPDATED:

17:37 GMT, 19 December 2012

The full extent of the ticketing farce at the London Olympics has been exposed by the publication of a full review of the ticketing programme.

The dense 976-page document highlights the gross number of tickets available to the 'Olympic family' compared to the relatively few available to the paying public for the most popular events and sessions.

Extraordinarily, there was a sailing finals day on August 9 – the day Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell won silver in the men's 470 – where 851 tickets went to sponsors and only one single ticket was available to the public.

Farce: Despite demand for tickets there were empty seats at the Olympic Games

Farce: Despite demand for tickets there were empty seats at the Olympic Games

Furthermore, for Danny Boyle's iconic opening ceremony – one of the most in-demand tickets of the fortnight – only 44 per cent of the tickets were available to the public while 66 per cent went to the Olympic family.

On the day in the velodrome when Sir Chris Hoy, Jason Kenny, Phillip Hindes won the men's sprint final, only 43 per cent of tickets were available to the public.

During Novak Djokovic's opening Olympic match on Centre Court at Wimbledon, 97 per cent of the available seats on court were given to the Olympic family.

Empty seats were one of the few negatives of a successful Olympics, with atmospheres at too many venues dented by swathes of empty seats allocated by the IOC but not taken up by sponsors.

New balls: Ninety-seven per cent of seats during Djokovic's match were given to the Olympic family

New balls: Ninety-seven per cent of seats during Djokovic's match were given to the Olympic family

In total 10.99 million tickets were sold out of a total 11.3 million tickets available. 8.21 million of these tickets were Olympic Games tickets and 2.78 million were Paralympic tickets.

A total of 659 million was raised for LOCOG's operating budget to stage the Games. 319,000 tickets (263,000 Olympic and 55,000 Paralympic) were unsold, the majority of these being early rounds for Olympic Football.

76.3 per cent of all Olympic and 91 per cent of all Paralympic tickets were sold through the UK application process against a target of 75 per cent. This amounted to an unprecedented 8.8 million tickets sold.

Martine Wright and Olympic Games legacy extinguished by funding cuts to sitting volleyball, says Lisa Wainwright

Funding cut to sitting volleyball has wiped out legacy of 7/7 survivor Wright and the Games, claims sport's chief Wainwright

|

UPDATED:

22:38 GMT, 18 December 2012

UK Sport's decision not to fund sitting volleyball for the next Paralympic cycle has 'extinguished' any legacy left by London 2012 and the likes of 7/7 bombings survivor Martine Wright, according to Volleyball England's Lisa Wainwright.

The UK's high performance sports agency today announced how a record pot of 347million would be distributed in the run-up to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

It has been decided sitting volleyball will not be getting a chunk of the pie, just two days after Wright was honoured at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards.

Waste of time: Lisa Wainwright indicated that the legacy forged by the Games and Martine Wright (pictured) was being wasted

Waste of time: Lisa Wainwright indicated that the legacy forged by the Games and Martine Wright (pictured) was being wasted

Wright, a sitting volleyball player who lost both legs in the 2005 attacks on London, gave a moving speech at the ExCeL on Sunday as winner of the Helen Rollason Award for 'outstanding achievement in the face of adversity', but Wainwright believes any legacy left from London 2012 has now disappeared.

'Today's funding announcement is so disappointing for all the athletes, staff and the sitting volleyball programme who have made such significant progress given their previous funding of less than 5k each for all training, competition and support,' she said.

'The investment requested from UK Sport was less than 500k per year per squad over the next four years.

'Everyone will have seen the impact sitting volleyball can have on people with the winner of the BBC's Helen Rollason Award, Martine Wright a survivor of the 7/7 London bombings.

Furious: Lisa Wainwright says the sport will need to refocus now

Furious: Lisa Wainwright says the sport will need to refocus now

'When we speak of legacy remember this day, the flame has well and truly been extinguished.

'The sport will now refocus over the new year and start the process of looking for additional funding from sponsors and donors.

'As ever, we remain focused on increasing the awareness of the sport at all levels. We thank all the players, coaches and support staff that have supported the programmes and look forward to working with them in the future.'

Only yesterday things had looked much rosier for the sport after Sport England announced its volleyball funding.

Following that announcement, Wright took to Twitter to say: 'Great news 5 million for grassroots volleyball which is fab, sitting volleyball back on the map where it counts! Decision Tom 4 elite level.'

PARALYMPIC FUNDING: 2013-2017

Winners

Adaptive rowing 3.5million (up from 2.3million) – one medal in London (hit target)

Boccia 3m (up from 2.3m) – one medal (hit target)

Disability athletics 10.7m (up from 6.7m) – 29 medals (hit target)

Disability sailing 2.8m (up from 1.7m) – two medals (hit target)

Disability shooting 3.3m (up from 2.1m) – three medals (surpassed target)

Disability table tennis 2.7m (up from 1.7m) – four medals (hit target)

Five-a-side football 1.3m – n/a

Goalball 1m women only (up from 0.5m) – no medals (hit performance target)

Judo (visually impaired)* 2m (up from 1.3m) – two medals (hit target)

Para-canoe* 2.3m – n/a

Para-cycling 6.7m (up from 4.2m) – 22 medals (hit target)

Para-equestrian dressage 3.8m (3.6m) – 11 medals (surpassed target)

Para-triathlon* 2.2m – N/A

Wheelchair basketball 5.4m (up from 4.5m) – no medals (missed target)

Wheelchair rugby 3m (up from 2.4m) – no medals (hit performance target)

Wheelchair tennis 1.9m (up from 0.8m) – two medals (hit target)

Losers

Disability archery 2m (down from 2.1m) – two medals (missed target)

Disability swimming 10.4m (down from 11.8m) – 39 medals (missed target)

Powerlifting 0.8m (down from 1.1m) – one medal (hit target)

Sitting volleyball – zero funding (down from 0.8m) – no medals (missed performance target)

Wheelchair fencing – zero funding (down from 0.6m) – no medals (missed performance target)

*denotes one-year award, with indicative four-year figure

John Terry and Chelsea help Tickets for Troops charity celebrate milestone

Terry helps Chelsea celebrate milestone with Tickets for Troops charity

|

UPDATED:

12:47 GMT, 23 November 2012

Chelsea captain John Terry joined up with Tickets for Troops to announce that the charity has distributed 300,000 free tickets in its three-year history.

The charity, which provides free tickets to members of the armed forces and those medically discharged since 2001, has also had over 115,000 servicemen and women register to make use of the service.

Just the ticket; Chelsea captain John Terry hands lifelong Blues fan Pte Tom Harding his gift

Just the ticket; Chelsea captain John Terry hands lifelong Blues fan Pte Tom Harding his gift

Charity patron: Terry chats with members of the armed forces after training at Cobham

Charity patron: Terry chats with members of the armed forces after training at Cobham

Since it was launched in 2009, the
charity has provided free tickets to service personnel for major events
including The Brit Awards, James Bond’s Skyfall premiere, the FA Cup final, England Internationals at Wembley, The Diamond Jubilee Concert
at Buckingham Palace and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Private Tom Harding of 3rd Battalion the Parachute Regiment and a lifelong Chelsea fan was allocated the 300,000th milestone ticket for Chelsea v Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Support: Chelsea have donated 50 tickets for every home fixture since the charity was set up in 2009

Support: Chelsea have donated 50 tickets for every home fixture since the charity was set up in 2009

As part of the celebrations Pte
Harding was invited by Chelsea to meet club captain Terry at their
Cobham training ground in Surrey. Terry presented Pte Harding with the
300,000th ticket for the weekend’s game which includes access for him
and a guest to the Executive Lounge at Stamford Bridge.

Terry, who is a Tickets For Troops
Patron said: ‘It’s an honour to have met Tom and I’m delighted to have
been able to present him with the 300,000th ticket on behalf of Tickets
for Troops. Tom and his colleagues in the forces are real heroes and I
and everyone at the club have nothing but respect for the sacrifices
they make on behalf of our country. It is wonderful that so many
organisations have supported this incredible scheme and such a
substantial number of tickets have been donated.’

Chelsea were a founder supporter of
Tickets For Troops and have donated 50 tickets for every home fixture
since the charity was set up in 2009.

Pte Harding said: ‘I can’t believe it. I’ve been a Chelsea fan all my life but often find it difficult to attend games because of the nature of my job. I never expected in a million years that I would get to meet the captain at the training ground, let alone in the same week have the opportunity and privilege to watch Chelsea take on Manchester City from the Stamford Bridge Executive Lounge.

‘I can’t thank Tickets For Troops and Chelsea enough for this once in a lifetime opportunity. Tickets For Troops does such a fantastic job in keeping spirits high amongst the all the Armed Forces and I hope they can continue to operate for many years to come.’

Visit the website: www.ticketsfortroops.org.uk

Olympic bronze medal theft: Two team GB stars have their prizes stolen

Two Team GB stars have their bronze medals stolen at Mayfair nightclub

|

UPDATED:

23:21 GMT, 24 October 2012

Two of Britain's Olympic heroes have reportedly had their medals stolen just hours after the Queen hosted a glittering Buckingham Palace event to celebrate London 2012 athletes.

Rower Alex Partridge and hockey star Hannah Macleod took to social networking site Twitter to appeal for information to find their Olympic bronze medals which they believe were taken in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Partridge, 31, who won bronze as part of the men's eight rowing team, tweeted that his Olympic blazer as well as his medal had been stolen from an event in Mayfair, central London.

Gone: Alex Partridge (back left) has had his medal taken

Gone: Alex Partridge (back left) has had his medal taken

Macleod, under the username @hannahmacleod6, also wrote on the site: 'My medal was also stolen at the same time. Totally devastated.'

Both athletes later published a photo of a man captured on CCTV who they wished to talk to about the alleged thefts.

Scotland Yard confirmed it was investigating reports of a stolen Olympic medal and blazer from an event in Mayfair. However the force had not yet been contacted about a second stolen medal, a Metropolitan police spokesman said.

A host of Olympic and Paralympic stars had earlier been invited to the palace to mark their achievements along with the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, Duchess of Cambridge, Prime Minister David Cameron and London 2012 chief Lord Coe.

Bring back bronze: Hannah Macleod (right) also had her medal taken

Bring back bronze: Hannah Macleod (right) also had her medal taken

A Met spokesman said: 'An Olympic medal and blazer were reported stolen from a venue in Mayfair in central London.

'It was believed the items were taken between midnight and 5am on Wednesday, October 24.'

Officers are continuing to investigate the incident but no arrests have been made, the spokesman added.

Macleod, 28, achieved bronze at London 2012 after Team GB's women's hockey team beat New Zealand to secure a medal.