Following a record breaking performance from Team GB’s Olympians, it is now the turn of the nation’s Paralympians as the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games begin on Wednesday 7 September.
There will be 33 Scottish athletes in the ParalympicsGB team, competing across 12 different sports and, with a wealth of World and Paralympic medallists among their number, hopes are high for a successful Games.
Defending Paralympic champion and ten time World champion Neil Fachie heads the list of four Scottish cyclists heading to Rio. He competes in the Tandem B Kilo and Sprint with Englishman Pete Mitchell, while Fachie’s Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games pilot Craig MacLean teams up with Welshman James Ball. London 2012 silver medallist Karen Darke looks to go one better in the H1-2 road race while Hannah Dines competes in the T2 Trike, having switched from racerunning at the end of 2013.
Sam Ingram will represent ParalympicsGB at a third consecutive Games having taken bronze at Beijing 2008 and silver at London 2012. With World and European medals also to his name, the visually-impaired judoka is the most decorated athlete on the British Judo Paralympic programme.
It will also be a third Games for six time tennis Grand Slam winner Gordon Reid. Reid made Wimbledon history this summer by winning the first ever men’s wheelchair singles tournament, also taking the doubles title alongside partner Alfie Hewett. He reached the quarter finals at London 2012and is a real contender for gold in Rio.
Current World champions Alison Patrick and Hazel Smith compete in the PT5 triathlon and havealready had success on the Paralympic course, winning the test event in 2015. Patrick switched to triathlon from athletics in 2013 and is a two-time world and European champion.
There are six Scots selected in the athletics squad, including current World record holders Jo Butterfield (Club / Discus), Stef Reid (Long Jump) and Libby Clegg (100m / 200m). They are joined by marathon runner Derek Rae, wheelchair racer Samantha Kinghorn and 16 year old multiple World and European sprints medallist Maria Lyle.
Four Scottish swimmers will take to the pool in Rio with the youngest team member 13 year old Abby Kane from Largs. Multiple World medallist Andy Mullen will go for a first Paralympic medal in the S5 events, having claimed four golds at the 2016 European Championships while Stephen Clegg and Scott Quin could also be in the frame for a podium place.
Six of the 10 boccia players are Scots with the McCowans making it a family affair. Scott McCowan, a world silver and European bronze medallist, will be making his second Paralympics appearance and will be joined by younger brother Jamie, as well as their parents Gary and Linda who are ramp assistants. Joshua Rowe, Patrick Wilson and Kieran Steer round out the Scottish boccia contingent, along with current World champion Stephen McGuire.
Archer Nathan Macqueen competes in the compound open on the back of European Championship silver earlier this year and Team Scotland Glasgow 2014 powerlifter Micky Yule comes into Rio having taken gold at the 2016 Invictus Games.
Martin Hickman, David Porcher and Jonathan Paterson take to the field with the 7-a-side football team, while Robyn Love competes in wheelchair basketball and Michael Kerr in wheelchair rugby.
The Rio 2016 Paralympic Games take place from 7- 18 September. Good luck to everyone fora successful Games.
Scots on ParalympicsGB:
Nathan Macqueen – Archery
Jo Butterfield – Athletics
Libby Clegg – Athletics
Samantha Kinghorn – Athletics
Maria Lyle – Athletics
Derek Rae – Athletics
Stef Reid – Athletics
Robyn Love – Basketball
Gary McCowan – Boccia (ramp assistant)
Jamie McCowan – Boccia
Linda McCowan – Boccia (ramp assistant)
Scott McCowan – Boccia
Stephen McGuire – Boccia
Joshua Rowe – Boccia
Kieran Steer – Boccia
Patrick Wilson – Boccia
Karen Darke – Cycling
Hannah Dines – Cycling
Neil Fachie – Cycling
Craig MacLean – Cycling (pilot)
Martin Hickman – Football
Jonathan Paterson – Football
David Porcher – Football
Sam Ingram – Judo
Micky Yule – Powerlifting
Michael Kerr – Rugby
Stephen Clegg – Swimming
Abby Kane – Swimming
Andrew Mullen – Swimming
Scott Quin – Swimming
Gordon Reid – Tennis
Alison Patrick – Triathlon
Hazel Smith – Triathlon (guide)