Matthew Sheahan meets three Paralympic sailors who are working together to deal with their Olympic demons

Olympic profile: Stephen Thomas

Early ambitions – “Before I lost my legs I played rugby to a high level. But it wasn’t meant to be.
I went to university with an aim to try and get a sports coaching-type job. I have always been passionate about sport”

How it all started – “I competed in disabled ice hockey after losing my legs in 1996, but the hockey team wasn’t that well organised. By chance I was in a supermarket car park, helping someone out of his wheelchair into his car. About a month later he saw me training in the gym and said do you want to go sailing? He was a performance manager for Disability Sport Wales.”

Best/worst quality
– “I’m pretty determined and don’t give up, but I guess I’m pretty stubborn too”

Hobbies and interests? – “Rugby (watching mainly), PlayStation with the lads and going to the gym”

How do you relax? – “I do like to play PS3 games”

What picks you up when you’re down? – “Our lifestyle among the three of us can be pretty intense so it’s good to get away alone and calm down”

Non-sailing ambition – “To pass my motorbike test”

What’s your plan ‘B’? – “My girlfriend is a sports physio and has her own business so I’d like to help develop that.”

Pet hate – Smoking

Sporting heros
– Steve Redgrave, Ben Ainslie

Position on boat – Main

First class sailed – Sonar

Favourite sailing venue – Weymouth and Perth

Favourite boat – Sonar – the only one I’ve sailed!

Current car
– VW Golf

Dream car – A motorbike!

Personal favourites
FilmsGladiator, Any Given Sunday
Band – 3 Doors Down
It’s Not About the Bike, Lance Armstrong
Non-sailing item – Specialised Stunt Jumper mountain bike
iphone app – Fit builder
iPod top 3 most playedStronger – Kanye West, Planetary Go – My Chemical Romance, Louder – DJ Fresh

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Olympic profile: John Robertson
  3. 3. Olympic profile: Hannah Stodel
  4. 4. Olympic profile: Stephen Thomas
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