George Peasgood will go down in history after today becoming the athlete to win the 1000th medal for Great Britain & Northern Ireland since funding into Paralympic and Olympic sport from The National Lottery was introduced.
Peasgood already contributed to Britain’s growing medal tally just days before when he secured silver in the men’s PTS5 paratriathlon race at Odaiba Marine Park as he made his Paralympic return after his Games debut at Rio 2016.
Peasgood has been selected to represent two sports at Tokyo 2020. Impressing in both paratriathlon and para-cycling, he added the title of TT world champion to his list of achievements and international paratriathlon medals.
Despite an intense swim, bike, run to open his Paralympic medal count, Peasgood raced again days later and surged to a bronze medal in the men’s road cycling C4 time trial. The 71st medal won by ParalympicsGB at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games held huge significance. Peasgood’s bronze marked a landmark 1000 medals for British athletes across both the Paralympic and Olympic Games, summer and winter, since National Lottery funding was introduced in 1997.
The new era of National Lottery support began at the Olympic Winter Games in 1998 in Nagano, sparking the revitalisation of ParalympicsGB and Team GB’s fortunes to the levels seen today.
With the landmark 1000th medal achieved on day seven of the Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Peasgood’s outstanding performance today, and that of every ParalympicsGB and Team GB athlete in Japan this summer, can help inspire the next 1000.
“I’m really honoured to have won the 1000th medal under National Lottery funding,” Peasgood said. “I’m so happy with how I’ve performed and this milestone is such a special one. I’m so grateful for every single National Lottery player for making this all possible.
“To have come to Tokyo after all my injury challenges and come away with a silver in triathlon and bronze in cycling is amazing and it’s all down to the support we receive from the National Lottery.”
Dame Katherine Grainger, Chair at UK Sport, said: “I’d like to wish a huge congratulations to George for making history today and also to all of the ParalympicsGB medallists so far in Tokyo. Winning a Paralympic medal is such a special achievement and the team are providing inspirational moments and memories for the British public to be proud of.
“Reaching 1000 Paralympic and Olympic medals since the introduction of National Lottery funding is a remarkable achievement for our high-performance community and one I hope they get the chance to relish. Everyone who plays The National Lottery should be extremely proud of this moment as well, without your support it simply wouldn’t be possible.
“What these Paralympic Games are showing us, and the Olympics before them, is the transformative power of sport. With such a landmark secured, we hope those athletes that go on to win the next 1000 medals at Beijing, Paris, Milan-Cortina, Los Angeles and beyond represent the whole of the UK and bring increasing enjoyment and pride to more of the nation.”
Sally Munday, CEO at UK Sport, said: “Today is a proud day for George and I offer many congratulations to him for his outstanding performance in Tokyo. I also wish to extend those congratulations to George’s coaches, support staff, family and friends. ParalympicsGB are having an extraordinary Games in Tokyo, just like Team GB, and these are moments for everyone to savour.
“The continued support of National Lottery players has allowed British athletes to turn dreams into realities with there now being 1000 Paralympic and Olympic medals and counting since Nagano in 1998. British athletes from all corners of the UK are creating sporting moments that are uniting, lifting and inspiring the country, especially after such a challenging time.
“We are seeing socially conscious people of talent and character display the extraordinary power of sport to lift a nation and to make the world a better place, whether that be about championing the environment or inclusion or providing crucial role models to inspire our diverse nation.
“The next 1000 medals will be won by athletes across a broader range of sports than ever before and I’m excited to see how these brilliant and inspirational individuals engage more of the British public than ever before. You have to look no further than the exceptional British performances we’ve seen this summer in new Olympic sports like BMX freestyle and skateboarding and I’m sure there’s more to come in the new Paralympic sports of para-taekwondo and para-badminton later this week.”
Mike Sharrock, Chief Executive at the British Paralympic Association, said: “I’m delighted that George is the 1000th medallist since National Lottery funding was introduced. There is no doubt that National Lottery funding has been crucial to getting each of our athletes at the Tokyo Paralympic Games to the start line with the right training environment, the best possible Games environment and health and well-being support, so they can perform to the very best of their ability.
“We know that ParalympicsGB athletes are inspiring the next generation of Paralympic stars. But they’re also role models for disabled and non-disabled people. Many stars are being created here at the Tokyo Paralympic Games. Off the field of play I can’t wait to see schools, employers and local communities connect with their heroes when they land back to the UK.”
Peasgood will next be in action on 3 September at 1:30am BST in the men’s C4 road race. You can find all the latest information from Tokyo 2020 on our Games Hub.