Meet Laurence Whiteley MBE: Inspiring Paralympic Gold Medallist
Laurence Whiteley was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer, and, after his recovery, wanted to get back into sport. Initially he pursued swimming and competed both nationally and internationally.
However, upon reflection, he decided his disability and swimming were not the best fit. That led him into investigating rowing and in 2011 he joined Tees RC, where he was coached by Greg Beswick.
Laurence won the Home International Regatta in his first year of competition, then struck gold at both the British and European Indoor Rowing Championships in 2012 as well as the British National Championships.
Laurence has competed with distinction in the non-Paralympic class trunk-arms men’s single scull. Laurence finally made his international debut in the mixed double scull at the 2015 World Championships alongside newcomer Lauren Rowles.
They quickly formed an impressive partnership, qualifying the boat for Rio in their first regatta together before setting a new World Best time on their way to winning Paralympic gold 12 months later.
In 2017, Laurence won silver with Lauren Rowles at the second World Cup regatta in Poznan, but missed out on a place at the World Rowing Championships in Sarasota-Bradenton due to an injury to Lauren.
At the 2020 Tokyo games, Laurence and Lauren went into the PR2 mixed double sculls with the mission of maintaining their triple crown of World, European and Paralympic titles and did just that, finishing almost five seconds ahead of their nearest rivals.
Join us at Sports Talent as we honour the extraordinary accomplishments of Laurence Whiteley MBE, a source of inspiration for those determined to surpass their boundaries in the midst of challenges and embrace the richness of life through elite sports.