Former Sussex PE teacher Emma Wiggs is celebrating canoeing gold at the Paralympics in Rio.
Wiggs taught in Chichester and Bognor and is fondly remembered at The Regis School, where she worked when she first hit the big-time as a Paralympian.
Wiggs was a member of the GB sitting volleyball team that represented the nation at the London 2012 Paralympics before switching to canoeing.
Those who know her will not have been surprised to see how well she has done on the water and today’s gold in Rio is the icing on the cake after several years of success at international level.
Wiggs was one of four GB gold medal-winners in one day in Brazil and three of them were in canoeing.
Jeanette Chippington, who won 12 swimming medals between 1988 and 2004, clinched the KL1 canoe title on her return to the Paralympics.
Team-mates Wiggs (KL2) and Anne Dickins (KL3) also took gold, with Wiggs putting in a commanding performance.
Wiggs recorded a time of 53.288 in the women’s KL2 final. Ukraine’s Nataliia Lagutenko (55.599) and Australia’s Susan Seipel (56.796) finished second and third respectively.
“After my first stroke, I did what I always do. I cannot believe it,” said Wiggs. “It’s an overwhelming feeling of emotions and adrenaline.”
The 36-year-old lost use of her legs as an 18 years when struck by a mystery virus.
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