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My Friend’s Olympic Journey

On 12th January, I went to watch the gymnastics test events for the 2012 Olympics. I went to support my teammate, Kieran, from Tolworth Gymnastics Club at the O2 Arena. It was an amazing experience to see my friend competing with some of the top gymnasts in the world. It’s inspiring that my teammate made it this far because of all the troubles he had along the way.

Kieran has had many injuries over the years, which could have prematurely ended his gymnastics career. At the age of ten he had an operation to remove a tumour in his leg. Unfortunately, the operation was unsuccessful and he was told he might never walk again and was put into a wheelchair. Fortunately, after about fifteen months he did manage to leave his wheelchair and was training again. Soon after, at the age of twelve, Kieran slipped off the high bar and hit the back of his head, which caused brain damage to the part of his brain that controls balance. The injury caused blackouts and seizures so he was in hospital for weeks. He was back in a wheelchair, had to lie down most of the time and would watch the traffic go by to let his eyes readjust. He started his teenage years learning all the basic skills like sitting up, moving his head and walking. After eighteen months he had recovered from this injury and went back to training. He was back to normal for about three years until he ruptured the cruciate ligament in his right knee. He had an operation and was back again after nine months. A year and a half later Kieran suffered the same injury to his left knee. This took him out of training for another nine months. These injuries and set backs didn’t stop him though: Kieran persevered and achieved his dream – he’s going to the Olympics in July!

Thank you Hampton Court House for letting me experience the test events. I had an amazing time and it was great to be able to support Kieran.

Hector, Year 10

Hector on the Vault