Jeanette Chippington: OBE
Jeanette Chippington believes her late father David will have been looking down on her this week and enjoying the moment after the 51-yearold was awarded an OBE for her services to canoeing.
This summer Chippington won bronze in the VL2 class at the Tokyo Paralympics, taking her medal haul to 14 from the seven Games she’s competed at dating back to Seoul in 1988.
She initially started as a swimmer and won medals in the pool at Seoul, Barcelona, Atlanta, Sydney and Athens before returning to a new sport of paracanoeing after a 12-year hiatus for the Rio Games in 2016 where she won gold in the KL1 event.
She said this week that the OBE is in part recognition for her success in paracanoe but also her longevity in Paralympic sport.
But she added that none of it would have been possible without the support of her parents.
“It’s amazing isn’t it?” she said. “It’s recognition of the fact that I’ve now been to seven Paralympic Games and have won a medal at every single one.
“Even I have to pinch myself because it’s incredible to have achieved that.
“I was the oldest GB team member for the Paralympics in Tokyo and to win a medal in a strength sport as well, it’s even more of an achievement.
“I couldn’t believe it when I received the letter because you can’t tell anybody.
“It didn’t really sink in until New Year’s Eve when I saw that only a few people got OBEs. That’s when it really sunk in and I’m extremely proud.”
She added: “My dad saw me get my MBE and that was an extremely proud moment. I know he would have been so proud of this.
“My mum is still around but she wouldn’t have known what was going on because of her dementia.
“Quite a few people have messaged and said that your mum and dad would have been so proud. It’s nice that they’ve messaged to say that as I could never have done it without them (her parents). I couldn’t have got to training without them driving me there in my early career and as the years went on, they played a huge part. The support was always there, and they always came to watch me. It’s such a shame that my dad’s not around to see this but I’m sure he’ll be looking down and watching this and seeing what’s going on.
“The comments from people get to you a bit. They bring a tear to your eye.”