Sports Awards: Hopwood displays courage to clinch World medal
FORMER paratrooper Dan Hopwood showed class and courage to win a World Sprints canoeing medal.
The 34-year-old, who is paralysed from the chest down after a road accident in 2002, was scheduled to race in the arms-only category at the event in Hungary in August.
But when his rivals dropped out, the Trentham Canoe Club star's only chance of a race was to take on more able-bodied rowers in the arms and trunk event.
He produced a superb performance to take third place, and has now won The Sentinel/City of Stoke-on-Trent Sports Personality of the Year DISABILITY AWARD, presented by television and radio presenter Nick Hancock.
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Hopwood, above right, from Uttoxeter, is now training for the World Championships in Poland in May, with his long-term sights set on the 2016 Paralympics.
The Sentinel's deputy editor Richard Bowyer said: "It would have been easy for Dan to sit out at the World Sprints but, like we have grown to expect, he rose to an incredible challenge. His talent, courage and determination is something we all admire."
Golfer Terry Adnams was runner-up in the category after an outstanding debut at the World One-Armed Championship in Ireland. The 52-year-old, from Barlaston, won the Bob Hughes Cup and claimed the England and Wales Championship crown to book a spot at this year's World Championships at St Andrews.
Badminton star Dan O'Rourke, aged 20, was third.
The Strathmore College student, who has Tourette Syndrome and learning difficulties , has won medals at Special Olympics at Fenton Manor and Bournemouth.
More of our coverage from the sports awards: