Paralympic gold medallist Sophie spurs on students
PARALYMPIC Gold medallist Sophie Thornhill told young women at King’s Girls Division they had to fight for the right to equality.
Speaking as the latest in a series of motivational speakers revealing the secrets of their success, Sophie, from Poynton, said: “Just as a visually impaired athlete I have had to fight to overcome a statistical disadvantage then as women we all have to fight to gain equality.
“Despite the improvements won by former generations of women, statistics show that women are still disadvantaged in the work place and the only way to gain is equality, just as the only way to win gold, is to work hard.
“What ever disadvantage you face, race: gender, religion, colour, physical ability; hard work is the key to success.”
Power house Sophie, 20, and who has only eight per cent vision, is a double world champion, a double Commonwealth gold medallist and won a gold and bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Paralympics.
She has also won nine medals at the UCI Parac-cyling Track World Championships, winning three golds in the 2017 competition in Los Angeles earlier this year.
Sophie and her pilot Corrine Hall won in the Tandem B 3km pursuit, Tandem B 1km time trial and the Tandem B sprint. She said: “I have achieved my dream in Rio but I will be trying just as hard to win Tokyo.”
Fellow cyclist Ffyona Booker, who is a former medal winning national cyclo-cross specialist, said: “It was amazing to have such an inspirational speaker tell us about just what is needed to reach the top, especially as she has achieved so much in such a short time from leaving school.”