Meet the Paralympians studying at UK universities right now

Imagine being that talented

The Paralympics is sadly drawing to a close, capping a brilliant summer of sport. And it’s been a really good competition for Great Britain who are currently second in the medal league tables behind China. Team GB has swooped 33 gold medals, 26 silver and 34 bronze. But what makes this haul even more impressive is that many of the athletes are juggling both their sports and their occupations. Some of the Paralympians even go to university in the UK right now. It’s about time we met them:

Grace Harvey, swimming, University of Manchester

Grace Harvey has had a great Paralympics so far, picking up a silver medal for the women’s SB5 100m breaststroke and also coming sixth in the SM6 individual medley. She’s still got a few more races to go so might not be done yet!

When Grace isn’t in the pool, she’s studying for a degree in Immunology at the University of Manchester.

Grace is from Ware in Hertfordshrie and has cerebral palsy. She has no function in her legs and swims without a kick.

Her academic advisor at Manchester Uni said: “Grace’s enthusiasm for science and the hard work she has put in alongside her full-on training has been an inspiration. All of us here at Manchester are thrilled to watch her compete at the Paralympics and are cheering her on. Go Grace!”

Phoebe Paterson Pine, archery, University of Worcester

Phoebe Paterson Pine studies sports coaching science at the University of Worcester. But she’s no ordinary student. She holds eight national records, four European records and three world records for archery (Compound Women Open category).

Phoebe, who suffers from spina bifida, has added an Olympic gold to her list of achievements, seeing off fierce competition in Tokyo this year.

Kare Adenegan, 100m T34, University of Warwick

Warwick University student Kare Adenegan has also picked up a silver medal in Tokyo, this time in the the women’s T34 100m. The T34 classification is for athletes with cerebral palsy who use a wheelchair.

When Kare isn’t racing, she’s studying for a degree in History and Philosophy. She also picked up BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2018!

The University of Warwick tweeted: “A huge well done to our History and Philosophy student Kare Adenegan on her silver medal at Tokyo Paralympics – couldn’t be prouder!”

Michael Taylor, triathlon, University of Bristol

Originally from Devon, Michael Taylor is a second year medical student at the University of Bristol. Michael had his leg amputated five years ago, and after watching the 2016 Paralympic Games, was inspired to get himself to the next competition.

And his dream came true. Michael finished eighth in the PTS4 triathlon, insisting that this is only the beginning of his Paralympic journey.

“I’m quite disappointed, I thought maybe I could get a medal today, but it’s my first race – Paris next, and hopefully can’t wait to go there. I’ll be able to try for medals,” Michael said.

Ben Pritchard, rowing, University of Bangor

Back in 2016, Ben Pritchard sustained a spinal injury after a cycling accident.

Since then, Ben has developed a passion for rowing, coming fifth in the PR1 men’s single scull event at this year’s Paralympics. And on top of all that, Ben’s just graduated with a law degree from Bangor University!

Beth Moulam, boccia, University of York

Beth Moulam has just graduated from the University of York with a degree in Social Policy, but boccia is her real passion. At the time of writing, Beth is competing in the BC3 pairs event in Tokyo.

“My dream really would come true if we won a pairs medal,” Beth told The Yorkshire Post.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

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• 18 aspects of uni life that are so hard they may as well be Olympic sports

• Gold medals all round: Meet the hottest men competing in this year’s Olympics