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Brunel Paralympians shine in Rio

Paralympians2Following on from the success of their fellow Brunelians at the Rio Olympics, Brunel alumni won five medals at the Paralympic Games.

In Rowing, Tom Aggar won bronze in the men’s single sculls and James Fox made up ‘the oarsome foursome’ mixed coxed four, to defend Britain's London 2012 gold.

Meanwhile, Natasha Baker MBE followed her tremendous 2012 gold medal double, with a further three gold equestrian medals at Rio. Natasha secured golds in the Individual Grade II, Grade II freestyle and the Dressage Mixed Team event.

Tom back on topTaking to the podium again eight years after becoming the first ever arms-shoulders gold-winning champion in Beijing, Tom Aggar made up for missing out on a medal at London 2012.

“I took a lot from London,” said Tom, now 32. “The build-up and the hype were huge and I probably fell foul of not rowing my own race and sticking to my own plan. I put that right here and I came away with a medal, so I’m so pleased.”

Paralysed from the waist down after breaking his back in a fall, the six foot three Londoner, met wife Vicki while studying for an MSc Sports Science (Human Performance) at Brunel in 2013.

James Fox studied Sports Science (Human Performance) at Brunel in 2013. The 24 year-old from Peterborough broke his back in a car accident within the first few months of university and after two years unable to train, classified into para-rowing because of an ankle problem.

At the age of 14 months Natasha Baker MBE contracted transverse myelitis, an inflammation in her spine that affected her nerve endings. She was left with weakness and no feeling in her legs. She studied at Brunel in 2009 and was made an Honorary Fellow in 2014. She was double Olympic Champion at the London Games and has a gold postbox painted in her honour just metres from the university on Station Road.

We are so very proud of these achievements and offer our warmest congratulations to Tom, James and Natasha.