Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

I Want to Empower People; but Multi-Talented Double Champion Kadeena Cox Tells Matt Majendie She Doesn't like Being Called an Inspiration

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

I Want to Empower People; but Multi-Talented Double Champion Kadeena Cox Tells Matt Majendie She Doesn't like Being Called an Inspiration

Article excerpt

Byline: Matt Majendie

EPISODES. The word is innocuous enough and Kadeena Cox brushes off her "episodes", as she refers to them, as though they are a mere inconvenience.

But when they strike -- the last happened just two months before the Paralympics last year -- the reality as a multiple sclerosis sufferer is that they are venomous, resulting in her being hospitalised for two weeks at a time.

Such is the energy that Cox effuses, it is hard to imagine her ever being felled but it is less than three years since her diagnosis, which affects her muscle control, vision and balance, as well as causing a loss of sensation and heavy fatigue.

In Rio de Janeiro, she made a name for herself with two golds as part of a four-medal haul. In turn, the 26-year-old became the first British Paralympian since Isabel Newstead in 1988 to win medals in two sports at the same Games.

Cox (left) took gold in the T38 400metres and in the C4-5 cycling time trial.

For now, she has put the cycling on hold to focus on London 2017 where she intends to compete in the 100m, 200m, 400m and 4x100m, although that depends on her health and level of fatigue nearer the time.

Cox is regularly referred to as an "inspiration" but she still finds it hard to come to terms with that tag.

"That word takes a while to get used to as I'm not a massive fan of it," she says. "I just like to go out and do what I do best. I want to be a role model and not because I'm special but to show them what they can do. I like to empower people."

She has not entirely put the bicycle away, Cox using a watt bike to help her body under the rigours of 400m training in particular.

And she makes no secret of missing her dual life, flitting from cycling in Manchester to running in Leeds in what was a hectic juggling act leading to Rio last summer. …

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