Inspirational Salford graduate wins Gold and Bronze at Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games

Categories: School of Health and Society

Salford graduate Hannah Russell MBE has secured a Gold and Bronze medal at the Tokyo2020 Paralympic Games, retaining her title in the S12 100m Backstroke and coming in third in the S12 100m Freestyle for Great Britain (GBR).

Hannah Russell MBE

Hannah’s achievements come after taking some time away from the sport, where she completed a BSc in Sports Science at the University, achieving First Class Honours.

She previously competed in both the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, winning a silver and two bronze medals at London 2012, and a further two golds and a bronze at Rio, before being awarded and MBE for services to swimming in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list.

Talking to Swim England (August 27 2021), Hannah said: ‘It’s a dream come true really. I have had a few difficult years and I overcame them. I trained so hard, the hardest I have ever trained, and to top the podium is surreal.

‘I was struggling with my mental health and I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety and took a couple of years out to really focus on my mental health.

‘For me, taking out a little bit of time was really, really important for me and my mental health.

‘I realised how much I missed my swimming – swimming is a massive part of my life.

‘I worked so hard this year so to be able to come here and deliver a performance as I did. If you believe, you can really achieve anything. 

‘Never give up on your dreams.’

Before Hannah set off for Tokyo, we chatted to her about life at Salford, how she combined studying with training, and her hopes for the Tokyo Paralympic Games.

Read the full article.

Hannah’s Paralympic Medal Haul

  • Gold – Tokyo 2020 100m Backstroke
  • Bronze – Tokyo 2020 100m Freestyle
  • Gold – Rio 2016 – 100m Backstroke
  • Gold – Rio 2016 – 50m Freestyle
  • Bronze – Rio 2016 – 100m Freestyle
  • Silver – London 2012 – 400m Freestyle
  • Bronze – London 2012 – 100m Butterfly

Photo Credit: Swim England

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