Commonwealth and six-time Olympic champion David Weir is pumped that Paralympians are finally getting the recognition they deserve.
The “Weirwolf”, known for his powerful and aggressive racing style, competed in Glasgow as part of England’s record-breaking Commonwealth team.
For his part, Weir won gold in the T54 1,500m, adding it to the 57 golds won by the team, and the 173 won overall.
The 35-year-old Wallington-born athlete was delighted the parasport programme was combined with the able-bodied one, and hopes to see even more events added in the future.
“It’s great to see and I think the organisers did a great job,” he said.
“It worked well – I think the crowd and people on the TV liked watching.
“I’m not sure it’d be possible to organise the full programme of events within the Olympics, but it is nice to be integrated.
“The public are realising that we are world class athletes and work as hard as everyone else.”
He added: “When people see it live they say it’s amazing to watch because of how close you are with your chairs, and how technical and tactical it is.
“It takes serious training to push a racing chair – years of practice and gruelling sessions.
“People are starting to respect that we are as good as, or even better than, the able-bodied guys.”
Weir, who trains at Kingsmeadow stadium, added his Commonwealth gold to a career tally of six Olympic golds, six London marathon victories, as well as World and European titles.
He was thrilled to complete the set and knows he made the right decision to carry on after London.
He said: “I was able to race for England and get that gold medal for myself and my country. That aim was what made me decide to carry on after the Olympics.
“The atmosphere in the stadium was amazing. It was incredible to pull the England shirt on, hear the roar and see all the flags.
“I still get that tingle when they read your name out and you can hear people screaming. It was electric.”
In action: An English Weirwolf in Glasgow Picture: SWPix
Weir made the decision last year to carry on racing and has set his sights on the Rio Olympics in 2016.
After the London Games he said he felt the pressure lift and the enjoyment come back into racing.
“I feel that I still have a lot to give the sport and the desire to win medals,” he said.
“I’m not getting slower, if I felt like I was then I would’ve retired. I’m still up there with my rivals and racing really well, which made me want to carry on for as long as I can.”
He added: “The pressure put on me before London was huge but I felt like I achieved the ultimate that I can achieve in my career.
“So now I’m just racing with a bit of freedom and I’m loving it.”