PARALYMPIC gold medallist Stephanie Millward MBE was the keynote speaker at a networking event run by one of Swindon’s leading business referral groups, BusinessWise.
The Paralympic champion who won two golds in swimming at Rio 2016, shared her inspiring personal story with 45 business people and joined them for an evening of fine food at The Pear Tree, Purton.
Stephanie, who lives in Box, told everyone about learning to swim as a child as she was born in Saudi Arabia and swimming was a way of keeping cool.
She excelled and won a junior Olympic gold medal at the age of eight. However in her teens she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis which left her, at the time, blind and unable to move.
She then, with the support of her family and later her husband Adrian, began a slow journey to swim again as a Paralympian.
Today her training schedule is gruelling including nine two-hour swims per week, weight training sessions and long walks to keep her legs as mobile as possible.
Fiona Scott, who chairs BusinessWise, said: “Hearing Stephanie share her journey in person made us all reflect on what is important in life. She spoke of picturing an Olympic gold medal in front of her whenever she had very dark days.
“The most amazing thing was that she’s still as driven and determined to reach Tokyo in 2020 as she was to reach Rio 2016.”
The event also raised money for BusinessWise’s chosen charity Gateway Furniture.
Money from ticket sales and from a raffle on the night raised over £550 for the charity which supports families in need in the town.
BusinessWise is an independent, not-for-profit referral group which meets weekly early on Friday mornings at Jury’s Inn, Swindon. For further details visit www.businesswise.org.uk