Without a doubt, being able to join the Paralympics – and represent one’s country – is a great achievement for anyone. Paralympian Mel Nicholls, Great Britain T34 wheelchair racer (and one of Advanced Removals & Storage’s most popular clients) adds this distinction to her list of merits. We are happy for Mel Nicholls at her being able to join this momentous sporting event and carve her name in sporting history.
But going back to Mel Nicholls – who is she, and what makes her story so inspiring?
Mel Nicholls’ race to the Paralympics began many years ago. This isn’t her first time in competing mind you – she was already a competitor in the 2012 Paralympics; she also competed in and attained a silver medal in the 800-metre race at the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships.
The road to the Paralympics
Melissa Jane Nicholls (Mel, as she is fondly called), was born in Worcester on the 14th of July (France’s Bastille Day!) in 1977. She currently resides in Gloucestershire, our company having helped her move to her new home, and trains at the University Of Warwick Wheelchair Racing Academy.
Mel’s story is truly something from which we can all gain motivation. After having a stroke in 2008 (Mel’s third one), she suffered from left-sided hemiplegia, which affected her balance and co-ordination. This resulted in her having to use a wheelchair. But this personal event sparked something in Mel – the will to become a new person, an individual who can overcome whatever challenges life would throw her way.
Since Mel loved horses ever since she was a child, she began training for para dressage. Her natural talent and drive led her to competitions throughout the United Kingdom, including several National Championships. Eventually, Mel won second place at the National Winter Para Dressage Championships in 2011. Unfortunately, however, soon after the event, her beloved horse – Harry – developed lameness, and Mel decided in the latter part of 2011 to focus on something similar, equally exhilarating but thoroughly different: wheelchair racing.
A world-record holder
Soon after Mel began wheelchair race training, she gained Paralympic A standards in her chosen sprint distances. That same year, Mel and her coach, Job King, began traveling around the country and thereby acquiring substantial experience and practice.
As Mel herself says:
…“We knew there was a very small chance, but I had a whole lot of work to do and things to prove, but no matter how small that chance was we were going for it. I never let doubt or the thought of failure come into my mind”…
Needless to say, Mel soon joined the 2012 Paralympics and along the way was even able to break the 1500mm World Record.
Today, her singular attitude, her physical prowess combined with her drive for success has led Mel Nicholls to the Paralympics once again, this time in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The entire team at Advanced Removals & Storage is proud of Mel and is excitedly anticipating her complete success.
We – and all who believe in you – are behind you all the way, Mel!