Chris Hallam

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Chris Hallam
MBE
Personal information
Birth name Christopher Alexander Hallam
Born (1962-12-31)31 December 1962
Derbyshire, England, UK
Died 16 August 2013(2013-08-16) (aged 50)
Sport
Country  Great Britain
 Wales
Sport Wheelchair racing

Christopher "Chris" Alexander Hallam, MBE (31 December 1962 – 16 August 2013) was a Welsh Paralympian and wheelchair athlete.[1] He competed at four Paralympic Games; Stoke Mandeville, England (1984), Seoul, South Korea (1988), Barcelona, Spain (1992) and Atlanta, Georgia (USA) (1996), as well as two Commonwealth Games; Auckland, New Zealand (1990) and Victoria, British Columbia (1994).[2]

Personal history[edit]

Born in Derbyshire, Hallam was raised in Cwmbran, South Wales. He attended Llantarnam School, where he became a competitive swimmer, with aspirations of competing for Wales. A motorcycle accident at age 17 (en route to a training session) resulted in his becoming a wheelchair user. After rehabilitation he spent some time living and traveling in South Africa, before returning to the UK and becoming involved in wheelchair sport. He later studied for his undergraduate and MBA degrees at the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff.[2]

In 2002 he became a Winston Churchill Fellow writing his report on the access of disabled people to specialist training equipment and gyms.

Although a successful kidney transplant in 1996 (with a living donation from his father), in latter years he experienced ill health. He was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2011 and received chemotherapy treatment.[2] He died on 16 August 2013, aged 50, and was survived by his parents (John and Anne) and a sister (Julie).

Sporting career[edit]

In 1984 he won a gold medal for the 50m breast stroke, but it was on the track and road where he had the biggest impact. He won a bronze medal in the 400m in Seoul, and repeated this in the 100m in Barcelona. During his career he held world records in the 100m and 200m. He twice pushed his way around Wales (in 1987, 1997) with his training partner and fellow Paralympian John Harris, to raise money for a purpose built wheelchair-accessible training centre at Cyncoed, Cardiff. He won the London marathon twice, and broke the course record both times, in 1985 and 1987. (1985: 2.19.53, and 1987: 2.08.34)[3]

He won the Great North Run on four occasions (1986, 1987, 1989 and 1990). He competed at two Commonwealth Games, in New Zealand (1990), and in Victoria, British Columbia (1994), respectively, as well as World and European Championships.[4] As an administrator he organised several National events, and was Chairman of the British Wheelchair Racing Association from 1990-92. In his coaching career he worked with several successful British athletes including Rose Hill, the British Record Holder for the marathon, and Dan Lucker who became world junior champion.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Paralympic athlete and wheelchair sport 'icon' Chris Hallam dies". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 18 August 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d Grey-Thompson, Tanni (21 August 2013). "Chris Hallam obituary". theguardian.com. Retrieved 14 September 2013. 
  3. ^ "Chris Hallam". telegraph.co.uk. 19 August 2013. Retrieved 14 September 2013. 
  4. ^ "Chris Hallam obituary: Welsh world-beater". disabilitynow.org.uk. Retrieved 29 March 2014.