Olympics News Desk
Sacrifice, self-confidence and sense of being part of a team are the mainstays in Tom Aggar’s career. The British Paralympic gold medalist told The London Daily News the story of how he overcame his accident and how rowing became a lifebelt for him after his injury.
With just a few months before the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games, Tom Aggar’s training has become more intense and this makes him believe more professional triumph is possible.
Tom Aggar is well-known for his professional success in rowing. Tom claimed Gold at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics and achieved four successive titles in international events at the World Rowing Championships. But Tom Aggar’s first contact with this sport was a twist of fate.
When he was younger rugby was his first passion. He was a member of the rugby union at the University of Warwich, where he studied. But in 2005 an accident proved a U-turn in his life.
As part of the rehabilitation from a spinal injury, Tom decided to take up rowing. This sport would give him the energy and the motivation that he needed to keep going. “Since I had the injury, rowing has been my main focus. Sports are massively important for me and especially rowing is a big part of my life”, he told The London Daily News.
Tom proved his perfect command of the technique just one year later, winning the 2006 National Indoor Championships. It would be the beginning of a long list of achievements. In 2007, the rower won the gold medal in the 100m men’s single scull at the World Rowing Championships, which took place in Munich.
After his success in the Games in 2008, three more titles in the World Rowing Championships would be waiting for him, he won Gold in the men’s single sculls’ modality the three following years.
His next aim: keeping his luck at the Paralympic Games which will take place in the capital. Every detail is important for his preparation, such a well-balanced diet of about 5.000 kcal, based on six meals per day and rich in fruit and carbohydrates.
An intense training is also required. Tom works hard six days per week, doing between two or three sessions every day and combining his training in the gym using the rowing machine with further preparation in water circuits in training camps in Caversham (Reading), for instance. Not only physical effort is essential but also concentration is necessary to produce best times. “Work is really intense. When you row it really hurts. Your lungs are burning and you have to control yourself every minute. For that reason, you need a big mental effort if you want to be effective and efficient and keep as much energy as possible”, Tom explained.
In the interview for The London Daily News, Tom Aggar, aware of his outstanding preparation, confessed being self-confident over his performance in the next Paralympics: He also wanted to give some advice to those rowers who were thinking of joining international competitions such as the Games: “Find a sport that suits you, enjoy it and join a club”.
reporting by Paula Planelles
Tom Aggar is an ambassador for Links of London who are the official jewellery designers for London 2012. The Team GB Band is available in Links of London stores and at www.linksoflondon.com