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Joanna Butterfield - Rio 2016

Joanna Butterfield

Athletics
1

Butterfield took up Para athletics in 2014 and has since won Paralympic, world and European titles.

Her first major international competition was the 2014 European Championships in Swansea, Great Britain, where she won club throw F32/51 gold (17.68m), a title she retained two years later in Grosseto, Italy, with a world record throw of 22.75m.

At her first World Championships in 2015 she won two medals. She claimed gold in the club throw F51 (21.44m) and bronze in the discus F52 (8.96m).

She was crowned Paralympic club throw F51 champion at Rio 2016 after extending her own world record to 22.81m. She also finished fifth in the discus F52 (9.40m).

Whilst serving as a civil servant in the British Army in 2012, doctors found a tumour on her spinal cord. Despite being told there was only a 0.01 per cent chance of paralysis following surgery to remove it, she woke up from the operation unable to move her body from the chest down. She spent six months in rehabilitation.

In March 2016 she became a board member of Scottish Athletics.

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Spinal Cord Injuries
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
F51

Further personal information

Residence
Glasgow, SCO
Occupation
Athlete, Director
Languages
English

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She began club throwing in March 2014 after first trying wheelchair rugby.
Why this sport?
She was inspired to take up the sport after watching the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. She then attended a talent identification programme called Girls4Gold.
Club / Team
Forth Valley Flyers: Scotland
Name of coach
Phil Peat [personal]; Shona Malcolm [personal]

General interest

Nicknames
Jo (Twitter profile, 29 Feb 2020)
Injuries
She underwent surgery in 2017 to treat an elbow injury that affected her participation at the 2017 World Championships in London, England, where she came fourth in the F51 club throw. (paralympic.org, 28 Mar 2018)

She competed at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro despite injuring tendons in her shoulder prior to the Games when a bus she was travelling on moved suddenly. (paralympic.org, 28 Mar 2018, 06 Jun 2017)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Build a good team around you, work to be the best version of you and never give up." (heraldscotland.com, 02 Jan 2016)
Awards and honours
She was named Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire [MBE] in the 2017 New Year's Honours list. (paralympic.org, 31 Dec 2016)

Ahead of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, she carried the baton as the Queen's Relay made its way through the host city. (bbc.co.uk, 21 Jul 2014)
Other sports
She has played wheelchair rugby for the Caledonian Crushers in Glasgow, Scotland. (heraldscotland.com, 02 Jan 2016)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (britishathletics.org.uk, 11 Nov 2019)
Impairment
In 2012 a tumour was discovered on her spinal cord. Despite being told there was only a 0.01% chance of paralysis following surgery to remove it, she woke up from the operation unable to move her body from the chest down. She spent six months in rehabilitation. "I can move my arms and thumbs, but I don't have any grip in my hands. I have no movement in my wrists. I have very little triceps, so I can't extend my arms in the air." (heraldscotland.com, 02 Jan 2016; glasgowchamberofcommerce.com, 02 Apr 2014)
Other information
OTHER ACTIVITIES
In March 2016 she became a board member of Scottish Athletics. She also helped form the Caldedonian Crushers wheelchair rugby team in Glasgow, Scotland, and has served as chairperson of the club. (scottishathletics.org.uk, 11 Nov 2019; glasgowchamberofcommerce.com, 02 Apr 2014)

FORMER OCCUPATION
She served as a civil servant in the British Army before being medically discharged. (scottishathletics.org.uk, 11 Nov 2019; heraldscotland.com, 02 Jan 2016)

Results

Unit Date Rank
IPC Athletics 2015 World Championships (Doha, Qatar)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's Club Throw F51 Final 1 2015-10-24 1
Women's Discus Throw F52 Final 1 2015-10-27 3
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's Club Throw F51 Final Round 2016-09-11 1
Women's Discus Throw F52 Final Round 2016-09-14 5
World Para Athletics Championships London 2017 (London, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's Club Throw F51 Final 1 2017-07-14 4
Women's Discus Throw F52 Final 1 2017-07-15 9999