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WEIR David
Sport Para athletics
NPC Great Britain   
GenderMen
Age39
Place of BirthLondon, ENG
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Type of Impairment
Spinal Cord Injuries
Origin of Impairment
Congenital
Classification
T54
Further Personal Information
Marital status
* unknown *
Family
Daughters Ronie and Tillia, sons Mason and Lenny [2016]
Residence
London, ENG
Occupation
Athlete, Coach
Languages
English
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
He took up wheelchair racing at age eight.
Why this sport?
His first experience of Para athletics was in the London Mini Marathon. "I didn't have a racing wheelchair so I raced in a standard day chair. I think I impressed everyone, including myself, with how well I did. I'd found my sport and there was no looking back."
Club / Team
Weir Archer Academy: Kingston upon Thames, ENG
Name of coach
Jenny Archer [club], from 2002
Training Regime
He trains for 12 hours a week. This includes one hour of distance work at Richmond Park in London, England, and speed work on a resistant static roller at the gym.
General Interest
Nicknames
The Weirwolf (weirarcher.co.uk, 15 Oct 2018)
Hero / Idol
British politician Winston Churchill, British middle distance runner Sebastian Coe, British Para swimmer Chris Hallam, Swiss wheelchair racer Heinz Frei, US boxer Muhammad Ali. (paralympic.org, 30 Aug 2015)
Injuries
He withdrew from the 2014 European Championships in Swansea, Wales, because of an arm injury he sustained while racing at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. (paralympic.org, 18 Aug 2014)

He had glandular fever early in 2008, which ruled him out of competition for several months. (bbc.co.uk, 13 Apr 2008)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"I like to get beaten sometimes as it gives you the drive to train harder." (bbc.co.uk, 28 Jun 2013)
Awards and honours
He was honoured at the 2018 Spirit of London Awards, in recognition of his achievements at the London Marathon. (weirarcher.co.uk, 15 Oct 2018)

The Kingsmeadow Athletics Stadium in Surrey, England, was renamed the Weir Archer Athletics and Fitness Centre in October 2017, in recognition of his and coach Jenny Archer's achievements in the sport. (the3scribblers.wordpress.com, 13 Oct 2017)

He was inducted into the Stoke Mandeville Hall of Fame in October 2014. (paralympic.org, 09 Oct 2014)

He was named Best Male at the 2013 International Paralympic Committee [IPC] Awards Ceremony. (insidethegames.biz, 23 Nov 2013)

In 2013 he was inducted into the Great North Run Hall of Fame after winning the event four times. The race is held annually in Newcastle, England. (insidethegames.biz, 14 Apr 2013)

In January 2013 he was made a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire [CBE]. (paralympic.org, 28 Feb 2013)

He received the Freedom of the London Borough of Sutton in 2009 and won BBC London's Disabled Athlete of the Year award for 2008. (suttonguardian.co.uk, 24 Dec 2009, 31 Dec 2008)
Impairment
He was born with a spinal cord transection that prevents him from using his legs. "My spinal cord was severed. I've got some feeling in my lower half, but cannot lock my legs or stand up at all. I needed five operations just to straighten my feet." (nhs.uk, 14 Sep 2012)
Other information
INTERNATIONAL RETIREMENT AND RETURN
He announced his retirement from the British Para athletics team following the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, and claimed at the time he had been accused of not performing to the best of his ability. He competed at the 2017 London Marathon and the 2017 Anniversary Games, announcing his complete retirement from track at the latter. He announced his intention to return to the British team in September 2018 with a view to competing in the marathon event at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. "It took me a long time to get over. I was very bitter about what happened in Rio. I said I'd never wear the vest again. I'm going back on my word, but if I can still deliver and win a medal like I think I can, then why not?" (telegraph.co.uk, 27 Jan 2017, 13 Jun 2017; theguardian.com, 23 Apr 2017; bbc.co.uk, 12 Sep 2018)

MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES
In 2017 he spoke openly about seeking treatment for depression, which he said has affected him since childhood and was intensified by the pressure he felt at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro to replicate the success he had at the 2012 Games. "It proved a real help and a turning point. We went back through my life and realised I had issues stemming from childhood over the fact that I was angry about being disabled. I feel like the old Dave again. I want to be positive not just for myself, but for my academy. I don't want them to see this negative person who was in Rio and afterwards, being bitter and moody and horrible. They are looking up to me. I have to prove a point. I can turn things around. I just want to be a voice for people who are in that dark hole. They can climb back out and be positive and do well in themselves. When people get depression you think, you're all right, but once you get it yourself you realise how deep that hole can get." (telegraph.co.uk, 13 Jun 2017; bbc.co.uk, 12 Sep 2018)

LEGACY
In April 2013 he and coach Jenny Archer launched the Weir Archer Academy with the aim of unearthing future Paralympic medallists. The academy is based at the Weir Archer Athletics and Fitness Centre in Surrey, England, and focuses on helping athletes from south London. "I want this to be my legacy so that London [2012] is not just a one-off. There are literally thousands of potential athletes out there who are just waiting to be discovered and I want to help with that." (weirarcher.co.uk, 15 Oct 2018; bbc.co.uk, 05 Apr 2013)

Competition Highlights (historical)
Paralympic Games
Rank Year Event Result
2 2004 100m T54 14.31 
3 2004 200m T54 25.55 
13 2004 400m T54 49.26 
2 2008 400m T54 46.02
3 2008 5000m T54 10:23.03
1 2008 800m T54 1:36.61
1 2008 1500m T54 3:10.34
  2008 Marathon T54  DNS
1 2012 5000m T54 11:07.65
1 2012 1500m T54 3:12.09
1 2012 800m T54 1:37.63
1 2012 Marathon T54 1:30:20
5 2016 400m T54 47.30
4 2016 1500m T54 3:01.08
6 2016 800m T54 1:35.20
Round 1 2016 4 x 400m Relay T53-54  
  2016 Marathon T54  DNF
World Championships
Rank Year Event Result
5 2002 200m T54 27.31
5 2002 400m T54 50.19
1 2006 100m T54 14.34
2 2006 200m T54 25.36
1 2006 400m T54 48.06
1 2006 1500m T54 3:15.82
7 2006 4 x 100m Relay T53-54 55.97
  2006 Marathon T54  DNF
1 2011 800m T54 1:37.28
1 2011 1500m T54 3:10.93
1 2011 5000m T54 10:48.43
  2011 Marathon T54  DNS
2 2015 1500m T54 3:04.46
7 2015 5000m T54 10:57.46
Commonwealth Games (Overall)
Rank Year Event Result
1 2014 1500m T54 3:21.67
European Championships
Rank Year Event Result
1 2016 5000m T54 11:15.95
1 2016 400m T54 46.10
1 2016 800m T54 1:35.51
1 2016 1500m T54 3:18.50
1 2016 4 x 400m Relay T53-54 3:08.30
Marathon World Championships
Rank Year Event Result
2 2015 Marathon T53/54 1:31:32