Livvy brings home the bronze

16-year old Olivia “Livvy” Breen has spent her summer holidays living a dream, and anyone following her in the London 2012 Paralympic Games will recognise her contagious smile and share the excitement of her performances in the Women’s 100m T38, Women’s 200m T38 and Women’s 4x100m relay T35/T38.

When she’s not training hard for her sport, Livvy attends Bohunt School and also takes part in the 14-16 programme at Alton College where she is studying a BTEC Level 2 Diploma in Art (Fashion & Textiles). She has mild cerebral palsy but doesn’t let anything stand in her way. Gayle Bicknell, who teaches Livvy at Alton College, said: “Livvy, in a word, is charming. She is the life and soul of my lessons; always cheery, polite and ready to get stuck in, doing her absolute best in all she undertakes. Her general enthusiasm is very infectious! She is a popular student who mixes well with her peers and possesses a wonderful sense of humour and a genuine lust for life.”

Livvy’s first race, on Saturday 1st September, was the Women’s 100m T38 where she finished 5th in the table, but it was the Women’s 4x100m relay T35/T38 that secured her and her team a bronze medal. Livvy ran the first leg and gave the team an excellent start but an unlucky baton change on the final handover meant they just missed out on a silver or gold. The girls were absolutely thrilled with their bronze success and finished the race knowing they’d just added to Team GB’s medal total. Livvy also finished 8th in the Women’s 200m T38.

Competing in three Paralympic finals at such a young age is a huge achievement for Livvy and can only be a sign of an incredible future. She made quite an impression in her post-race interview after her 100m final, with the presenters even making reference to the huge number of positive tweets they had received about her.

Livvy has returned to her studies at Bohunt this week and all at Alton College are looking forward to hearing about her Team GB experience next week.

Former Alton College student David Smith is also celebrating winning two medals in the Paralympic Boccia events. Winning silver in the Mixed Individual BC1 and bronze in the Mixed Team BC1-2, David told the BBC: “What meant more to me was not the medal, but my own performance and showing the world that I am a great Boccia player. I think I proved that." David lost 7-0 to Thailand’s Pattaya Tadtong in the Mixed Individual final after defeating opponents from Japan, China and Norway in his route to the final.