Nobody can argue that London 2012 wasnt an incredible spectacle, a fantastic success and an Olympic games that will go down in history. Super Saturday, Sir Chris Hoy, Jonnie Peacock and Ellie Simmonds; London 2012 provided achievement after achievement, hero after hero.
But for us, Rio 2012 eclipsed it.
Not because Team GB finished second in the medal table, not because of Jason Kenny, Laura Trott or the Team GB Womens hockey team, but because of three people, 2 Brits and an American: –
Kathleen Baker, Siobhan-Marie OConnor and Ali Jawad.
While not household names, the achievements of all three are particularly special because all three won Olympic medals…and all three suffer from either Crohns disease or Ulcerative Colitis.
Watching US swimmer Kathleen Baker become an Olympic champion and also win a silver medal in Rio was incredible, especially when considering the debilitating affect that Crohns can have.
Closer to hom<a href="http://www.pelicanhealthcare.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Ali-Jawad online project management.png” rel=”attachment wp-att-3457″>e, we were also beaming with pride while cheering British swimmer Siobhan-Marie OConnor to silver in the 200m individual medley. Siobhan was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in 2012 just before she competed in the London games and four years later shes on top of her condition and performing on the biggest stage of them all.
More recently, Ali Jawad, ambassador for Crohns and Colitis UK and Crohns sufferer, put the agony of London 2012 behind him to secure silver in the 56kg Powerlifting competition at the Rio Paralympics. Reading up on Alis career and his battle with Crohns is very inspiring and its fair to say hes definitely earned his moment in the spotlight!
The most satisfying element of watching these Olympians succeed is knowing that each of them refused to allow their condition to hold them back.
While undoubtedly each at some point will have experienced the flare ups, the exhaustion, the lethargy and many of the other symptoms that Crohns and Ulcerative Colitis sufferers face, they fought through, showcased their talent and succeeded at the highest level.
Sufferers and non-sufferers alike Mobdro cannot help but be inspired by the achievements of Kathleen, Siobhan and Ali and for us thats why Rio takes the gold!