Athletics, T38 100m

Olivia Breen

Last Updated: 29/07/14 11:18am

Olivia Breen: Has impressed hugely since bursting onto the scene in 2012

Olivia was one of the breakthrough stars at the 2012 Paralympics and won a bronze medal in the T35/38 4x100m relay

She won bronze in both the T38 100m and 200m at the European Championships this year

She won bronze in both the T38 100m and 200m at the European Championships this year

Olivia was born a twin with a meningitis-type illness which left her with cerebral palsy, hearing impaired and some learning difficulties.

Fact File

  • DOB: 26/07/1996
    Event: Athletics, T38 100m & 200m
    Hometown: Guildford
    International Debut: European Championships 2012
  • 2012: Paralympic Games T38 100m - 5th
    2012: Paralympic Games T38 200m - 8th
    2012: Paralympic Games T38/T38 4x100m bronze
    2012: European Championships T38 100m bronze
    2012: European Championships T38 200m bronze
    2013: World Championships T38 100m -5th
    2013: World Championships T38 200m -5th

Olivia has competed at City of Portsmouth Athletics Club for the last three years in able-bodied competitions. Last year she was invited to a Talent Introduction Day organized by English Athletics at which she was classified to compete nationally as a T38 athlete.

Once Olivia started competing at the start of last season she came to the attention of UK Athletics again by achieving results which ranked her first in the UK in her category in the 100m, 200m and long jump.

As a result UKA sent her to Croatia to be classified to compete internationally and re-opened the long-list of athletes for consideration to compete at last year's Paralympics and invited her to start training with the GB Women's relay team at just 15 years old.

Olivia made her international debut at the European Championships in Holland at which she won bronze medals in both the 100m and 200m and where she was described by UK Athletics head coach at the time, Peter Erikson as "phenomenal".

These successes secured her selection to London 2012 as the second youngest athlete. Following this selection Olivia won the 200m combined T37/8 200m at the Aviva Diamond League competition at Crystal Palace and was described by Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson as "incredible".

"I hope that by being part of the Sky Scholarship programme I could inspire other disabled people to think about taking up sport and to understand the benefits it can bring."

Olivia Breen

Olivia is in her final year at school (Bohunt, Hampshire). She is planning to study a BTEC level 3 in Sport at Godalming College and is committed to pursuing a career in sport and becoming a full-time athlete.

Her ambition is to inspire other disabled young people to realise their potential, particularly in the sporting arena and to win a Paralympic gold medal!

Olivia said: "The main impact of the Sky Sports Scholarship programme for me is that it would help with my transportation costs getting to and from training which is a 30-mile round trip 3/4 times a week and also competitions.

"It would also mean I could access warm weather training which I think would be very beneficial. I train at Portsmouth which has no indoor facility so training can sometimes be cancelled if the track is iced over.

"When you have cerebral palsy you are more affected by the cold than most people as your joints become stiffer.

"It would be great to be away for part of the winter so that my training could be more consistent during the hard months of January and February.

"I hope that by being part of the Sky Scholarship programme I could inspire other disabled people to think about taking up sport and to understand the benefits it can bring."