December 19 - Irish Paralympic cyclist James Brown revealed that he is aiming to make the podium at London 2012 - a full 28 years after he won two gold medals at the 1984 Games, which were held in New York.
The 47-year-old visually impaired athlete, who currently resides in Gloucestershire, claimed two Paralympic gold medals in New York but has been retired from the sport for nearly ten years.
But he has now returned hoping for success at London 2012and has lavished praise on his new fitness and conditioning team for getting him in the best possible shape ahead of next year's UCI Para-cycling World Championships, which will take place in Los Angeles in February.
Brown, who represented Britain in 1984 but hopes to represent Irealnd at London, had not competed for eight years until his return earlier this year.
Now his children Alice, 17, and Pete, 16, have grown up, Brown, a self-employed software developer, he has decided to return to the sport.
Brown has paid particular tribute to Jason Ford of the Stroud Sports Clinic and David Conlon from the Fifth Dimension Gym in Ebley for their efforts in preparing him for the competition where he will be racing on a tandem bike as part of the Irish Para-cycling squad.
"Jason and David's practical and moral support have been invaluable to me since I started working with them a couple of months ago," Brown said.
"With so many years of competitive sport behind me there are the inevitable injuries, but Jason has done a great job of fixing a long-standing problem with my shoulder and neck, whilst David has worked very imaginatively in the gym to ensure that I get the strength training I need."
Ford has also praised Brown for his dedication to and said that he has the talent to pull of what would be a huge podium finish at the 2012 Paralympics.
"It is a real pleasure working with James," said Ford.
"Not only is he a great guy but he is a very focused individual and is completely committed to the challenges ahead."
The sports therapist also admitted to having a personal as well as a professional interest in his client's success as Ford has been diagnosed with an eye-sight disease and said he can now relate to the many challenges Brown has to face.
"I understand just how important it is to overcome the disability regardless of complaint," he said.
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