Giles Long MBE

One of Britain's most successful Paralympic swimmers ever

Giles Long MBE

Being diagnosed with a bone tumour in his arm at the age of 13, motivational speaker Giles Long had to give up on his dream of performing at the Olympics but it didn’t stop him becoming one of the most successful Paralympic swimmers Great Britain has ever produced.

Giles achieved his first world record breaking swim when he was 17 and in 1996 he won gold in the 100m butterfly at the Atlanta Paralympics, at which point he became the fastest man in the world.

Among the incredible haul of other medals that this motivational speaker has collected at various Paralympic Games are golds at the 2000 Sydney Games in the 100m butterfly (setting another world record) and the 4 × 100m freestyle. Giles has won Paralympic silvers at Atlanta in the 4 x 100m medley relay and at Sydney in the 4 × 100m medley relay. He also got bronze medals in the 200m individual medley at Atlanta and the 100m butterfly at Athens in 2004.

Author of a book called Changing to Win, Giles Long also shone at the IPC World Championships, getting a gold medal, a silver and a bronze in Malta in 1994, a silver and a bronze in 1998 in Christchurch, New Zealand, and another silver-bronze mixture in 2002 at the games in Mar Del Plata, Argentina. In the IPC European Championships, Giles won four gold medals and two silvers between 1995 and 2001 in the 100m butterfly and the 200m individual medley, often setting new European records in the process.

Outside swimming, Giles Long has become a popular sports commentator and presenter on TV, at one stage winning a BAFTA award for Paralympics coverage. He also created LEXI, a graphics system that some say has “revolutionised” the way disability sport is televised around the world.

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