Who is Kadeena Cox? When is GB dual sports star competing next at Paralympics 2021 – and disability explained
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Kadeena Cox is looking to make history again at the Paralympics 2021.
Five years ago she struck gold in the C4-5 cycling and T38 400m athletics to become the first Brit since 1984 to top the podium in two different sports at the same Games.
Here's a look at how Cox got into para cycling and athletics, how many Paralympic medals she has won and when the Paralympian will be competing in Japan.
Who is Kadeena Cox?
Leeds-born Cox, who has Jamaican parents, began sprinting competitively from the age of 15 after her hockey coach suggested she tried the sport.
She competed as an able-bodied athlete on the regional and national stage before she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2014, aged 23.
Intent on making the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, Cox was selected for the GB athletics team for the 2015 World Championships and took gold in the T37 100m final.
Cox was reclassified before Rio in the T38 category, a classification for less-disabled athletes, and went on to take three medals on the track.
Away from sport, she studied physiotherapy at Manchester Metropolitan University and was appointed MBE in the 2017 New Year Honours for services to athletics.
She has made numerous TV appearances including Celebrity Mastermind (specialist subject Arsenal FC), Celebrity Robot Wars, The Jump, The Great Stand Up to Cancer Bake Off, and Celebrity Gogglebox, among others.
What is Kadeena Cox's disability?
Cox’s life changed dramatically in 2014 when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
Having previously competed as an able-bodied athlete, she excelled on her Paralympics debut two years later and was one of the headline-grabbing stories of Rio.
She has since battled disordered eating, body image issues and a career-threatening knee injury.
“I’ve had a lot of up-and-down times,” said Cox. “I’ve probably not quite found the form I actually had in 2016, I’ve just not been able to have the consistency and my body’s not quite been on my side and I’m getting older! It is a little bit more challenging.
“One of the key things I’ve learnt about having any form of eating disorder, it isn’t a quick fix. Even people that have been what you’d call ‘recovered’ for years, they always have little slips.
“I probably am in a great place right now, compared to where I’ve ever been at this point before a championships."
Speaking prior to competition at the Tokyo Paralympics, Cox said: “This is the point that I kind of wobble the most and my hate for my body becomes a little bit more intense but I think because we’ve put so much in place, I’m dealing with it a lot better and I feel like I’m in a relatively mentally strong place.
“Just being able to talk about it, that means I’m in a lot better place than I have been and it’s helping me to be able to get through it.”
How many Paralympic medals has Kadeena Cox won?
Cox put aside pre-Paralympics issues to retain her C4-5 500m time trial title in the Izu Velodrome in Tokyo on Friday 27 August 2021.
Dual-sport star Cox dyed her hair red and blue ahead of powering to glory, crossing the line in 34.812 in a time reduced to 34.433 due to her being in the lower of the two classifications.
She got the better of Canadian Kate O’Brien in a new world record time before struggling to contain tears on the podium when collecting her gold medal.
It took her Paralympic medal tally to five.
Cox claimed C4-5 time trial cycling and T38 400m athletics gold in Rio, as well as silver in the T35-38 4x100m and bronze in the T38 100m.
When is Kadeena Cox competing next at Paralympics 2021?
Cox will be part of a mixed C1-5 750m team sprint alongside fellow Brits Jaco van Gass and Jody Cundy. Qualifying starts at 2.30am and the final is scheduled for 4.10am in the early hours of Saturday 28 August.