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Grantham Journal Memory Lane: Irene won six Paralympics gold medals




Irene Hotchin with her Paralympic medals from 1984.
Irene Hotchin with her Paralympic medals from 1984.

The Paralympic Games started in Rio this week to much fanfare, but Grantham man Christopher Simpson has brought in these pictures of his foster mother, Irene Hotchin, who he says received little attention despite winning six medals .

Irene took part in the 1984 Paralympics in New York where she won her medals. She took part in several disciplines, including swimming, shot-put and discus. She also held five world records.

Irene Hotchin was a medal-winning disabled athlete.
Irene Hotchin was a medal-winning disabled athlete.

Christopher was fostered by Irene for a few years in the 1970s and they lived in Redmile. Irene had a rare bone disease which meant she eventually relied on a wheelchair.

Christopher, of Alford Street, Grantham, says Irene won a Winston Churchill Fellowship Award and travelled abroad looking into how the disabled can integrate with the Guides and Brownies with which she was very much involved. Christopher said: “For me she was a very inspirational lady who was everywhere doing stuff all the time. I think she should be known more in town. With the Paralympics starting I hope we celebrate our local heroes.”

Irene originally came from Cumbria. She died in 2014.

Irene Hotchin met Jane Torvill and Christopher Dean in the early 1980s in Nottingham.
Irene Hotchin met Jane Torvill and Christopher Dean in the early 1980s in Nottingham.


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