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“It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling to know I’ve influenced peoples lives” Kadeena Cox
In 2014, Kadeena Cox’s dreams of becoming an international athlete were crushed when she suffered a stroke, followed by a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. But less than two years later, she made history by winning Paralympic gold medals in two different sports in Rio. Now Kadeena has been nominated for two awards at the British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards, which take place this weekend in London. Sportsister Spoke to Kadeena about her action-packed time since Rio and doing things in two’s!
“I’ve not been to the Bedsa awards before, but they look amazing and it’s incredible that I’ve got two nominations. It seems that two is fast becoming my favourite number – double the chance to win!”
Life since Rio
“My life has changed completely. It is strange getting used to being recognized and being a known figure, but on the other hand I love being able to give something back.
Sometimes you just don’t realise the impact your actions have. I get contacted on social media by people who tell me that I’ve inspired them. People know who I am, but obviously I don’t know who they are, so to have influenced their lives in some way gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. It’s not always about sport either, sometimes it’s people who are facing illness and other difficulties. I love that I might inspire someone – it’s quite empowering.”
“It’s been super fun. Being able to learn to ski is one thing, but to get the chance to do things like the ski cross, where you’re going down a real course and learning how to tackle the berms – it’s incredible really. I would never have thought this time last year that all this would happen. I mean my aim was to win a medal in Rio, but even then, I never imagined that if I did that all this would happen.
I’m absolutely loving it.”
Aims for 2017
“I was sad not to be at the World Paracycling Championships, it was really strange watching it and not being able to defend my title. But I it was an odd situation really because it was only announced 7 weeks before, which was pretty controversial and so I’m not sure it would have benefitted me to go and compete anyway.
My main focus this year is the Athletics World Championships in London and I fully intend to come away with a medal or two. My world record needs lowering, so I’m going to work on that as well!
It’s a great opportunity to be able to compete in London. The crowds and supporters in the UK are always amazing and it will be fantastic to have all my friends and family come along and watch.”
Cycling or athletics?
“I don’t have a preference between cycling and running. Running is my first love though, I’ve been doing athletics for over a decade – but it was hard for me to pick it up again after I was ill, I mean I was ranked higher as a Paralympian, but it was still hard to take.
The cycling was really good for me, I’d never done it before so I didn’t have anything to compare myself with. In a way they compliment each other and I enjoy that aspect. There aren’t many Paracycling events to compete in though and I thrive on competition, so it works well for me to do both.”
“I had thought that competing in Tokyo 2020 was unlikely, but actually now I am taking on a positive mindset and aiming to defend my titles there. With my illness, I just don’t know where I’ll be, but I’m certainly setting my sights on bringing home more gold medals.”
Danielle Sellwood, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine
Kadeena will be going head to head this weekend with history-maker Sam Quek, Britain’s most successful female boxer of all time, Nicola Adams OBE, and heptathlon queen Dame Jessica-Ennis Hill for Lycamobile Sportswoman of the Year.
She will also be vying for UK Sport Inspirational Sports Performance of the Year alongside current World Kickboxing Association Muay Thai champion Ruqsana Begum, and promising cricketer Azeem Rafiq.
Follow: @BEDSAofficial and #BEDSA2017