England swimmer wins gold after leg amputations

English Para-swimmer Alice Tai won Commonwealth gold in Birmingham on Sunday – just months after having her right leg amputated in January.

The 23-year-old triumphed for England in the S8 100m backstroke at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre.

It was her second Commonwealth title after victory in Gold Coast four years ago, but, she admitted, far more unexpected.

“I didn’t think I would be able to race this season,” Tai told BBC Sport. “I’m so grateful that Team England let me come here and compete.”

Tai was born with bilateral talipes (club feet) which led to multiple operations as a youngster and increasing pain afterwards and required her to use crutches as a mobility aid.

However, the pressure on her arms left her requiring surgery on both elbows last year and as a result, she had to pull out of the Tokyo Paralympics.

While undergoing rehabilitation and struggling with her mobility, she asked once again about the possibility of having her right foot amputated.

“After the operation, I couldn’t use crutches or self-propel a wheelchair, so using an electric wheelchair was my only option,” Tai, who won seven golds at the 2019 Para-swimming World Championships in London, told the BBC’s Access All podcast on the eve of the Games. -BBC

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