This summer’s rescheduled sporting events both took place behind closed doors as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and as such it was more important than ever to celebrate their achievements in person.
Who was at the Town Hall?
Lord Mayor Cllr Mary Rasmussen and Mayor Joanne Anderson welcomed Bianca Walkden, Beth Munro, Jack Hunter-Spivey and Daniel Powell, who all competed at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.
Tokyo 2020 achievements
Paralympian Beth Munro won silver in taekwondo despite only competing in the sport for two years. She started at the end of 2019, not long before the pandemic hit.
Without the pandemic, she says, she would never have been able to take part in the games. The delay allowed her to go to a qualifying event in May this year and won the golden ticket to go to Tokyo.
Olympian Bianca Walkden, who won a bronze medal in taekwondo, said: “To come back and be in our home city, knowing that we’ve all done you proud means so much.”
Paralympian Jack Hunter-Spivey won bronze in table tennis.
He has been vocal about his mental health struggles in the past and found lockdown particularly hard.
He said that its given him a newfound appreciation for his sport and the training facilities. Something which he vows not to take for granted.
Paralympian Daniel Powell finished seventh in his judo classification and plans to retire from the sport.
He said: “I’m teaching judo, I’ve got a new judo club and I’ll always love the sport but I think my journey in competitive judo has almost come to an end.”