Our medal hero
The family of Corsham Paralympic hero Stephanie Millward are delighted after she swam to glory at the Games.
Former Corsham School student Miss Millward, 30, took her first ever Paralympic medal in the S9 100m backstroke last Friday, quickly followed by a bronze in the women’s 34-point 4x100m freestyle relay on Monday and another silver in the S9 400m freestyle on Tuesday.
She was on the cusp of being part of Team GB at the Sydney Olympics Games, in 2000, before being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis which resulted in her not swimming competitively until six months before the Beijing Paralympic Games in 2008.
And she competed strongly in China, reaching event finals and narrowly missing out on winning medals.
Following her success in London’s Aquatics Centre her father Mike Millward, 61, said he was overjoyed.
He said: “I think her performance has exceeded our expectations. We were a little nervous that her hard work might not get rewarded but now that it has we couldn’t be more delighted and I’m tremendously proud of her.”
Mr Millward, who is originally from Corsham but now lives in Lincoln, went to London and watched his daughter take silver on Friday evening and has seen her other successes on television.
Miss Millward’s mother, Linda, who now lives in Lynmouth, Devon, has been cheering on her daughter throughout the games in London with the swimmer’s sister Christie and brothers Paul and Nicholas and her fiancee Adrian McHugh.
Mr McHugh, 40, who lives in Corsham High Street, has been staying in Kent with his fiancee’s family and commuting to her events.
He said: “Stephanie is doing so well, we are all so proud of her and she has been amazed by all the support she has received.
"She has worked so hard for this, getting up at 5am in the morning six days a week, doing as much as any Paralmpian or Olympian.
“I know she’s got a huge buzz from 18,000 people at the Aquatics Centre calling out her name, the atmosphere is so great down there and the crowd have been trying their best to blow the Team GB swimmers to the line.”
After the games, Miss Millward, who lived in Swansea while training for the competition, will returning to Corsham with Mr McHugh. They plan to marry in Box in May next year.
Mr McHugh said the swimmer would be keen to celebrate her achievements with the town’s residents and share her experiences with aspiring young athletes.
Corsham School deputy headteacher Marcus Chapman said: “We are all delighted by her progress and achievements at the Paralympics and think she is an inspiration.”
The swimmer will have a chance to add to her medal tally when she competes in the SM9 200m individual medley today and in the 4x100 medley relay tomorrow.