Paralympic star Reid excited to be making history at Glasgow International Match
Friday, 25 January 2013
January 25 - London 2012 medallist Stef Reid admits she is excited at the prospect of making history at the British Athletics Glasgow International Match tomorrow at the Emirates Arena when she will be one of several disability athletes competing in the event for the first time ever.
The indoor meet in Glasgow has been staged in the city since 1988 but this year will be the first time in the event's 25 year history that disability events have been included on the programme.
It will also be the first time ever that the competition will be staged at the brand new £113 million ($177 million/€144 million) Emirates Arena, which was completed at the end of last year, and Reid believes that having disability athletes at the event for the first time ever shows a tangible legacy from the London 2012 Paralympics.
"I'm really excited at the prospect of competing in Glasgow on Saturday - it speaks volumes for what London 2012 achieved," said the 28-year-old New Zealand born-athlete who competed for Canada before switching nationalities to Britain.
"For me I don't think it's about integration, it's about the idea of respect and part of it is public movement.
"We have to realise that Paralympic movement is evolving and professionalising - it's not quite where it needs to be yet, but it's getting there.
"The more people that see and understand what we do, that will naturally happen."
Reid, who lost part of her right leg in a boat accident when she was 16, added that she is particularly excited by the prospect of lining up in front of a sell-out crowd in Glasgow due the fact that her father is Scottish.
"My dad is a very proud Scotsman and even prouder Glaswegian so it's an honour to be here representing my roots," said Reid, a Paralympic silver medallist in the F44 long jump at London.
"We are so lucky to have a country that supports us like they do and wearing a GB vest comes with that expectation to perform, so it signifies we're here and we mean business.
"British fans associate the GB vest with winning and I want to carry on that legacy.
"The atmosphere in London was incredible - you finish your season on such a high and then I have a three to four month period of not competing.
"Just getting back to that and a home crowd is amazing - it's going to be a full arena and we're going to hear all the cheers, which will be great for everyone involved.
On the horizon is the 2013 International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Athletics Championships in Lyon in July and Reid is determined to add a gold medal to the bronze and silver she picked up at Beijing 2008 and London 2012 respectively.
"I've done really well so far in my career," she said.
"But I've never experience the feeling to win gold at a major world competition.
"I want to be on the middle of that podium, singing that anthem in Lyon."
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