Noel Thatcher MBE is one of the most successful British athletes of all time. He represented Team GB at six consecutive Paralympic Games and won five gold medals, as well as breaking the 5,000 metres world record at the Sydney 2000 Paralympics in the astonishing time of 14:56.
Noel was made an MBE in the 1997 New Years Honours for ‘Services to Athletics for Disabled People’ and he was inducted into the England Athletics Hall of Fame in 2009.
We asked Noel to tell us about what it was like growing up with a visual impairment, how he juggled being a world class athlete while training to be a physiotherapist and studying Japanese, and why he and his family are so passionate about parkrun and junior parkrun.
“One of my proudest moments was when, as a team of four Visually Impaired boys, we won the Warwickshire Schools Team Cross Country – beating all the ‘normal’ kids who used to call us ‘special’.”