South East Wales

Paralympian Simon Richardson gets electric wheelchair

Paralympian Simon Richardson Image copyright PA
Image caption Simon Richardson won two gold medals in Beijing 2008

A Paralympian who was badly injured in a car crash has received an electric wheelchair after a flood of donations.

Champion cyclist Simon Richardson's spine was broken after he was hit by a van on the A48 while riding near Bridgend in 2011.

He later said he was "struggling" with being virtually confined to his Vale of Glamorgan home.

Mr Richardson, 48, said donations, which allowed him to buy the £900 chair, have been "humbling".

A fundraising campaign, arranged by his family and friends, prompted donations from businesses and people from across the UK.

"It's very humbling that people are willing to send £5 because that's all they can afford," he said.

Image caption Mr Richardson said he found it 'hard to cope' with the restrictions of a regular wheelchair

Mr Richardson said the excess money that has been raised will be used to buy training equipment and adapt a patio to improve access to his Llanmaes home.

Speaking on Tuesday, the father-of-two said the chair has made "quite a difference".

He added: "This afternoon we have a christening to go to - and we will be able to go to with the wheelchair with my wife walking beside me, rather than having to push it from behind."

Mr Richardson became a Paralympic competitor after suffering leg and back injuries in a previous road accident involving his bicycle and a car in 2001.

He won two gold and one silver medal at the 2008 Beijing games and received an MBE in 2009.

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