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Steely Danielle making a mark

india Updated: Oct 02, 2010 00:04 IST
Nilankur Das
Nilankur Das
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Life has not been fair to this 22-year-old stunner from England. Archer Danielle Brown moves around in a wheelchair inside the Games Village but she doesn’t stand out because of her disability.

What makes the blonde special is that she isn’t here for the para-events. Danielle is one of the two women in the England squad who are differently-abled but are competing in the able-bodied category. The other is 33-year-old Sarah Storey (Bailey), former para-swimmer and now a cyclist in the sprint and time-trial events.

Danielle has a condition called reflex sympathetic dystrophy due to which she has chronic pain and cannot stand. She draws the compound bow leaning on a stool. “I was diagnosed when I was 11. In two years, I lost mobility,” said Danielle.

“The challenge is to overcome the pain when I get up from bed every morning. I do not know much about the disease but from what I have been told it is going to get worse,” said the Beijing Paralympics individual compound bow goal medal winner.

“I liked to play — cycling, golf, everything. But when I got this, I picked up archery because I did not need to move around much and I am allowed not to go and fetch the arrows,” said Danielle, who took the Commonwealth Games selection trials near Coventry a couple of months back after her boyfriend persuaded her to.

“I shot very well and now I am here living a dream. This is a chance of a lifetime for archers because it is not a regular event. So I want to make the most of it,” said Danielle, who has a Honours degree in law from the University of Leicester.

Danielle stands out in a league of her own. Not often do we come across a person who picked up a sport after getting disabled. Rarer still is to meet someone who has improved so much that she can challenge the world of the able-bodied.

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