One last chance: A Paralympian's journey back to the bike after hit-and-run

After a decade of operations, rehab and setbacks following a devastating hit-and-run crash, Paralympian Simon Richardson is finally back on his bike

Simon Richardson
(Image credit: Getty)

When the editor Simon Richardson called to tell me that Simon Richardson was making another comeback, I have to admit I was slightly baffled. It wasn’t the names – I realised that CW’s Simon was talking about the MBE-suffixed Welsh Paralympian – but I found it hard to credit that a man who has been through so much was pondering a return to racing.

It is hard to know where to start in telling 54-year-old Richardson’s story, so here is a potted history. In 2001, he was hit by a car while training, breaking his leg and his back, leaving him with permanent weakness on his left side. Having been classified as disabled, he went to the 2008 Beijing Paralympics and won gold in the LC3 kilo and 3km, setting world records in both. In 2011, he was hit by a drunk driver and left for dead with multiple injuries including fractures to the spine and a broken pelvis – he has not raced since. In 2017 he had a minor stroke, and in 2019 the metal rods holding together his spine snapped, leaving him in agony. And now, after all that, he is making a comeback.

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David Bradford
Features editor

David Bradford is features editor of Cycling Weekly (print edition). He has been writing and editing professionally for more than 15 years, and has published work in national newspapers and magazines including the Independent, the Guardian, the Times, the Irish Times, and Runner’s World. Alongside his love of cycling, David is a long-distance runner with a marathon PB of two hours 28 minutes. Having been diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa (RP) in 2006, he also writes about sight loss and hosts the podcast Ways of Not Seeing.