A Crazy Dream of Rio Gold, Anne Usher MBE

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Paralympic Champion 

Anne Usher was a physiotherapist and competitive cyclist until a back injury left her unable to ride, or to heal herself. She felt an inward spiral of failure and feeling she was the victim. Volunteering for the London Olympics in 2012 was “one of the best tonics” and led to a chance meeting with the British Paralympic canoeing coach. Despite hating boats and suffering from chronic seasickness, she was selected for the kayaking squad. As a working mum in her late 40s, Anne didn’t fit the conventional mould of an elite athlete. But her “crazy dream” came true. She won two World championship golds, three European golds and gold in the Paralympic kayaking in Rio in 2016. “When you’re in a really dark place, sometimes you can’t see a way out. But it’s often because you are looking in the wrong place.”

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