David Weir’s fourth gold medal at the summer Paralympic Games on 9 September elevated the 33-year-old to the Paralympic hall of fame. Some argue that he became the greatest wheelchair racer of all time.
T54, the racing class he competes in, is the deepest talent pool anywhere in Paralympic sport.
In London, Weir came of age not as an athlete, but as a totemic figure in the Paralympic movement. He demonstrated mental strength, control, relentless determination, power and precision. He dominated his field, exerting absolute control over rivals who have beaten him over the four distances he made his own.
Three victories on the track, and one on the road in the marathon, capped the last day of a glorious summer for sport. Weir had disclosed to me in one of several interviews leading into the Games, that completing the quartet of gold medals was ‘beyond my wildest dreams, probably impossible’. An eight-day sequence which was emphatic, dramatic and emotional was capped when Weir, in the now renowned beacon red helmet, huge upper body, and piston power arms sprinted past Buckingham Palace, down The Mall and over the line to record an amazing fourth gold medal on Sunday 9 September, the last day of the Games. On that last Sunday, mentally and physically exhausted, he pushed himself beyond the limits to leave the nation finishing on a high.
Gareth A Davies, is the Paralympics correspondent for the Daily Telegraph. He is the IPC's represenative on the IOC Press Commission.
Follow him on Twitter at @GarethADavies