Leeds golden girl Kadeena Cox to fly GB flag at Paralympics closing ceremony
Leeds's own Paralympic golden girl Kadeena Cox has been chosen represent the nation's champions at the closing ceremony of the 2016 Games in Rio.
The 25-year-old record-breaker, who has won two gold medals at the Games, was selected by organisers to be ParalympicsGB’s flagbearer.
She made history this week by becoming the first British Paralympian since 1984 to win gold medals in two different sports at the same games.
Ms Cox, from Chapeltown, said: “It was a bit of surprise to be told that I would be flagbearer for the team.
“I’m really grateful that the team thought that I was good enough for this honour, given the strength of performances across all the athletes in ParalympicsGB this time around. I’ve just been doing my own thing as an athlete, preparing and racing and I never thought of being flagbearer.
“It’s a great feeling to know that I’ll be standing at the front of such an exceptional group of athletes from GB, to represent what has been such a successful and high-achieving team.”
She will fly the flag for the nation’s Paralympic athletes during the closing ceremony, which will be shown on Channel 4 from 10pm today (Sunday).
This year’s games have been Britain’s most successful Paralympics since 1988, as the team has won 147 medals so far.
Ms Cox stormed to victory in the C4/5 500m cycling time trial in the velodrome, winning gold and setting a new world record in the process.
And she was crowned champion again in the T38 400m athletics event in the Olympic Stadium,
She has also won a bronze in the T38 100m event and helped her team win silver in the women’s T35-348 4x 100m relay event.
Ms Cox was chosen as flagbearer by the nation’s senior leadership team for the games, which is led by Chef de Mission Penny Briscoe MBE.
Mrs Briscoe said: “Kadeena’s achievements in Rio have been absolutely remarkable, and she is the perfect choice to be our flagbearer.
“To strike gold in two sports is no mean feat, and it pays tribute to her talent, pride and determination and also the work of British Athletics and British Cycling, with the support of National Lottery funding, to help her achieve and surpass her goals.
“As the Games draw to a close we can begin to reflect on the exceptional performances of our athletes and this incredible medal haul.
“The Closing Ceremony is the perfect way to kick off the celebrations for this record breaking team. I am so proud of each and every member of the team.”
Other Paralympic athletes from the region have also tasted success at this year’s games in Rio.
Wheelchair racer Hannah Cockcroft, from Halifax, won her third gold medal at the games on Friday.
Gold medals were also won by Calderdale’s Karen Darke, as well as by Steve Bate and his pilot, Adam Duggleby, in the tandem.