The event, held on Friday November 25 at The Grand Hotel, Brighton, welcomed special guest and five time Olympian, Jo Pavey MBE, along with regular host BBC Sussex presenter Danny Pike.
Both were on hand to offer their congratulations to all winners on what has been another highly successful Olympic and Paralympic year for Team GB and Sussex athletes.
Partially sighted cyclist, Katie-George Dunlevy (and her pilot Eve McCrystal) won gold in the women’s B Road Time Trial, as well as a silver medal in the Tandem Race, at the Paralympic Games in Rio.
The pair, representing Ireland, came home in a time of 38:59 seconds. Japan and Great Britain took silver and bronze respectively, with the Japanese pair a full 33:70 behind the Irish gold medalists.
Brought up in Crawley, Katie used to compete for GB. She got involved in rowing and competed for GB in adaptive rowing in both 2004 and 2005.
However, when she picked up a serious rib injury she had a couple of years away from sport. In 2009 she tried to get back into the GB team and in 2010 she was promised to be a reserve. However, it was her dream to compete in London 2012 so she tried out for the Irish.
She chased her dream and went over to Ireland and they put her on a bike and as a result, Katie competed in London with the Irish.
After London 2012 she said she wanted to go to Rio, and has worked really hard to not only follow her dream, but win medals achieving it too. It wasn’t until 2014 that Katie met current pilot Eve, and with passion and dedication, the two have become the best team in the world.
Including Katie, Team GB Olympians and Paralympians, fresh from competing in Rio, were also in attendance to inspire the attendees. Each were awarded with the Sussex Sports Awards ‘Special Recognition Award’.
These guests were:
· Seb Rodger- Olympics- Athletics
· Ben Jesson- Paralympics- Shooting
· Faye McClelland- Paralympic- Paratriathlon
· Heather Olver- Olympics- Badminton
· Jade Lally- Olympics- Discuss
· Jess Walker- Olympics- Kayaking
· Katie-George Dunlevy- Paralympics- Cycling- Gold Medal (competing for Ireland)
· Pete Mitchell- Paralympics- Cycling- Silver Medal
· Simon Munn- Paralympics- Wheelchair Basketball- Bronze Medal
· Steve Scott- Olympics- Shooting- Bronze Medal
Sadie Mason MBE, Active Sussex Chief Executive said: “I’d like to congratulate Katie on what has been another hugely successful couple of years for her. This brings down the curtain on what has been another highly successful year for, not just British sport, but also Sussex sport and our competitors. We were all engrossed in what has been the most enthralling Olympic and Paralympic Games for Team GB in modern history. This, of course, featured a wealth of Sussex-based sports stars. The awards ceremony rewards quality, achievement, determination and commitment to those involved in sport across the county. They can now use this as a platform on which to build for further success in competitions throughout 2017.”
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