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Experience is golden for Brown
Danielle Brown is adamant she will be able to cope with the occasion of the London 2012 Paralympics – crediting her appearance at the Commonwealth Games in 2010 as the contributing factor.
The 24-year-old archer from Lothersdale provided one of the stories of the Common-wealth Games in 2010, becoming the first disabled athlete to represent England in an able-bodied event – however, she wasn’t done there.
Brown went on to mark the occasion with a first ever gold in the women’s compound team competition, alongside Nichola Simpson and Nicky Hunt, and grab the headlines for her remarkable achievement.
Two years earlier, the former South Craven School pupil made her Paralympic debut at the Beijing 2008 Games and won gold in the women’s individual compound – a title she is determined to hold onto at London 2012.
And, with her Common-wealth Games experience, and the attention it brought, in mind, Brown insists she will be ready for whatever is thrown at her at the Royal Artillery Barracks in London.
“The more experienced I have got the more I have grown familiar with the added pressure you get with competing and the television cameras and all that,” said Brown.
“I got a lot of publicity at the Commonwealth Games in India because I was the first disabled person to represent England at an able-bodied event.
“So because of that I think I am more prepared for the Games than I would have been. I shoot with the able-bodied team as well, which is also really good for my improvement.
“Everybody wants to take the gold medal so I can’t be complacent, and the most striking thing has been getting support from people I have never met before.
“Support from family and friends is one thing but, when strangers are wishing you luck and wanting you to succeed, it really is amazing.
“I think the crowd are going to be an amazing part of these Games for us and hopefully I can rise to the challenge and get the job done.
“I feel really humbled and honoured that people think that what I do is inspiring. I get told it a lot but, for me, it is just me doing something I like.”
Brown will get her second Paralympic campaign underway with the women’s individual compound ranking round a day after the opening ceremony on August 30.
And, having moved away from friends and family to prepare for the Games at Archery GB’s base at Lilleshall, Brown wants to vindicate the decision to her loved ones.
“I really do think the home Games are going to be incredible. A lot of friends and family have tickets and they have supported me so much throughout my career,” she added.
“It was such a shame they didn’t get to come to Beijing because I got my gold medal and they weren’t there.
“I have had to make so many sacrifices and put myself first.
“I have moved to Lilleshall so I can train full-time, so it will be nice for my friends and family to see me in action because they don’t often get the chance to.”
* Lloyds TSB, proud supporter of ParalympicsGB and proud partner of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Get closer to the Games at lloydstsb.com/london2012