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Norton Paralympic hopeful aims for gold
9:00am Thursday 30th August 2012 in Local
NORTON Paralympic star Richard Davies has vowed to return from London with a golden postbox.
The 41-year-old shooter goes for glory on Sunday morning when he competes in the mixed R4-10m standing-SH2 event at Woolwich Barracks.
Richard, a two-time British champion, will be among the contenders for gold and admitted the build-up to the big moment has been incredible with support coming in from all quarters.
He said: “This is going to be the biggest platform disabled sports has ever seen.
“In terms of tickets sold we have never seem anything like it, it’s going to be great to open people’s eyes to what disabled athletes are capable of.
He added: “For me personally it’s a very proud experience being part of the team and having so many people cheering you on.
“It’s been strange having people come up to me in the street and wish me good luck. We’ve had loads of cards sent to the house too, many from people we don’t know.
“My main focus now is on the competition and ensuring we get a gold postbox in Stourbridge.”
The dad-of-three, who is paralysed from the chest down following a swimming pool accident, took up shooting after a career in wheelchair basketball and increased his already hectic training schedule to 47 hours a week in the build up to the Games.
He has spent the past two weeks at the British team’s training camp in Bath before moving into the Olympic village, where he will spend the duration of the Games.
As part of his preparation, Richard attended the Olympic event at the same venue and admits he was taken aback by the “gladitorial” atmosphere.
He said: “It was just incredible. I tried my best to put myself in the position of those shooters, to try and get a mindset.
“Normally our competitions take place in silence - apart from when the guns are going off.
“But this was like being in the Roman Coliseum.
“Dealing with that kind of atmosphere will be key to success and I think I really benefited from experiencing it.”