6 Of Manchester's Greatest Olympians
In honour of our great Olympians, Lovin Manchester profiles the city’s big name athletes.
This year, a second Olympic parade to welcome home team GB was held in Manchester, which of course was a fine choice and the city put on quite a show. As if you didn’t have enough reasons to be proud of Manchester, if it was a country in this summer’s Rio Olympics it would have ranked fourth in the medal table. Greater Manchester has won as many Olympics Golds as Spain and Brazil! Impressive by any standards.
Lovin Manchester profiles the city’s biggest contributors to the haul.
Darren was a standout star at the from an early age, winning World and European junior medals. His Olympic debut came in 1997 and won his first medal in Sydney in 2000. Originally from Moss Side, over his career he won 12 medals, including six gold, one at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.
Making headlines at the Rio games for becoming one half of the first same sex married couple to make it to an Olympic final together, Kate Walsh was born in Manchester. 2016 was actually the fourth Olympics she has played on the GB hockey team with wife Helen Richardson-Walsh although they weren’t married for the previous games.
Born in Macclesfield, Ben is often described as Britain’s best sailor since Sir Walter Raleigh or, the most successful Olympic sailor of all time, if you look at his own website. At his first Olympic games he won the first and last silver medal of his career, taking only consecutive golds thereafter. He was knighted in January 2013.
Jason, who weeks ago married Laura Trott in a secret ceremony in Cheshire, is from Farnworth, Greater Manchester and trains – along with Laura – at Manchester Velodrome.
Before Chris Hoy became synonymous with swimming, Oldham’s Henry Taylor was the household name making a splash.
He took triple gold at the 1908 London Olympics, which is even more amazing when you discover he learned to swim in Hollinwood Canal before starting to take some of his lessons at Oldham Baths and later, Chadderton Baths. He competed in the Intercalated Games in Athens in 1906, an unofficial multi-sports event held to mark the tenth anniversary of the first Modern Olympics. Four years after London, he competed in Stockholm to win bronze with the team before joining the Navy in WWI. He retired in 1926.
Honorary mention: Sunny Lowry
While never an Olympian, Longsight’s very own Sunny Lowry became the first woman to swim the English Channel in 1933 and remains one of only five British women to have completed to feat. It was her third attempt after strong currents derailed earlier efforts while devastatingly close to the French coast. The successful swim took 15 hours 41 minutes and was competed in a two piece that was ahead of its time – the controversial suit is on display at Dover Museum. Before her death at age 97, she was awarded MBE for services to swimming and was inducted into the International Marathon Swimming Association's Hall of Fame.