Richard Whitehead was born without his lower legs. He is effectively a bilateral above knee amputee.
He was a swimming teacher at Clifton Leisure Centre in Nottingham. He is a former ice sledge hockey player, and competed for the GB team at the 2006 Winter Paralympics in Turin. He holds the world record for athletes with a double amputation, in both the full and half marathon.
Whitehead was unable to compete in the marathon at London 2012 as there was no category for leg amputees, and was refused permission by the IPC to compete against upper-body amputees and so he turned to sprinting to compete at the 2012 Paralympics.
He cannot ‘sit’ in the blocks as he cannot bend his knees. As a result, he starts slowly and the hundred metres is beyond him. He runs the two hundred, expecting to be well behind after the bend, relying on good balance, incredible pelvic strength and a huge stride to make up the difference. He normally does this in spades. Watching Richard Whitehead come off the bend is one of the most thrilling, iconic visions in sport, easily rivalling anything Ussain Bolt can achieve. In fact, it thrills me more, » Continue Reading.