Kadeena Cox

Yorkshire Post - YP Magazine - - Front Page -

Kadeena Cox, from Leeds, is the first Bri­tish ath­lete in more than 30 years to win two gold medals in two dif­fer­ent sports at the Par­a­lympics. She is tak­ing part in this year’s se­ries of The Jump.

What is your first York­shire mem­ory? I used to spend a lot of time out on the street in Chapel­town where I’m from. We lived in Hill­crest Av­enue and I re­mem­ber be­ing on my roller skates and trip­ping over and graz­ing my knees. My first bike was a yel­low trike with num­ber one on it. I used to pedal a lot when I was grow­ing up. Sport was nat­u­rally such a big part of my life. My mum said I al­ways ran be­fore I walked I was so ac­tive. From the age of four I was danc­ing and I can clearly re­mem­ber a race against five boys, lin­ing up in the mid­dle of the street and beat­ing them all.

What is your favourite part of York­shire and why? I would say the Dales be­cause they are so beau­ti­ful. When you come from the hus­tle and bus­tle of Leeds, to be able to get away from ev­ery­thing and to have a clear head is amaz­ing. I love Bolton Abbey and I’d be seven or eight when we first went up there. We were run­ning ev­ery­where and also on bikes and scoot­ers. It’s such a lovely place.

Do you have a favourite view? I spend a lot of time driv­ing back from Manch­ester to Leeds, and I just love the view at night as you come into Leeds. You see the lights and the whole of the city. Leeds is such an up and com­ing place. What is your idea of a per­fect day out or week­end out in York­shire? I love to go to Flamingo Land, near Mal­ton. Go­ing back there re­minds me of my child­hood. You can be a big kid again, go­ing on all the rides and see­ing the an­i­mals. It’s just fun and I love flamin­gos and pink is my favourite colour.

Which York­shire sports­man or woman, past or present, would you like to take out for lunch? Jes­sica En­nis Hill. She’s an amaz­ing ath­lete when you con­sider that as Olympic cham­pion, she came back a year af­ter hav­ing a baby and be­came world cham­pion and then went to Rio and came so close to get­ting another gold. Jes­sica epit­o­mises what York­shire’s about. She’s just a gen­uine, lovely per­son. She’s not big-headed and has time for ev­ery­one. It would be nice to talk to Jes­sica about her path­ways into sport and how she has dealt with the dif­fer­ent chal­lenges. It would help me to do that.

Which York­shire stage or screen star, past or present, would you like to take out for din­ner? Kaiser Chiefs from Leeds be­cause they are from a dif­fer­ent walk of life. I liked their mu­sic as a kid, but not so much now be­cause tastes change as you get older. I’d like to dis­cuss with them if we have any sim­i­lar­i­ties in the chal­lenges we’ve faced.

What do you think it is that gives York­shire its unique iden­tity? The peo­ple. Ev­ery­one’s nice, they help you and peo­ple smile. You go down to Lon­don, peo­ple bump into you and you seem an ir­rel­e­vant per­son. But in Leeds, you can have a gen­uine con­ver­sa­tion with some­one you’ve never come across be­fore. Ev­ery­one in York­shire has been so sup­port­ive, whether it’s through fundrais­ing or with the help of my coaches and teach­ers. Friends and the com­mu­nity have helped mas­sively to get my medals and that wouldn’t hap­pen any­where else.

Do you fol­low other sports in the county and, if so, what? I’m in­ter­ested in cricket. My dad, Steve Lin­ton, was a good league crick­eter. He played in Ire­land for a time and kept break­ing the bat­ting records there. I am a foot­ball fan, but I don’t sup­port, I am afraid, a York­shire club. I’m an Arse­nal fan be­cause my dad is based in north Lon­don, not far from the Emi­rates Sta­dium.

Do you have a favourite pub or restau­rant in York­shire? Asa stu­dent in Leeds, I spent a lot of time in Head­in­g­ley and when I come back

AWAY FROM IT ALL: Bolton Abbey brings back happy child­hood mem­o­ries for Kadeena, left; in­set, Kaiser Chiefs front­man Ricky Wil­son.

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