David Smith (rower)

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David Smith with Naomi Riches

David Smith MBE (born 21 April 1978) is a British adaptive rower who won a gold medal at the 2012 Summer Paralympics.

Personal life[edit]

Smith was born on 21 April 1978 in Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland.[1] He was born with a club foot and for the first three years of his life he had his bones repeatedly broken and reset to correct his foot's alignment.[2]

In 2010 he underwent emergency surgery after doctors found a tumour inside his spinal cord at cervical spine level. The surgery left him temporarily paralysed, an issue that was later determined to be the result of a blood clot.[2]

He graduated from the University of Bath in 2009 with a Bachelor's degree in sports performance.[1]


Smith was introduced to adaptive rowing in 2009 at a Paralympic Potential Day run by the British Paralympic Association.[1] He competes in the legs, trunks and arms adaptive mixed coxed four (LTAMix4+) event in which he won a gold medal at the 2009 World Rowing Championships, competing in a crew with Vicky Hansford, Naomi Riches, James Roe and cox Rhiannon Jones.[3]

In 2011 he competed at the at World Rowing Championships held at Lake Bled, Bled, Slovenia. He won the gold medal in the LTAMix4+ event alongside crewmates Pam Relph, Naomi Riches, James Roe and cox, Lily van den Broecke.[1][4] They completed the one kilometre course in a time of three minutes, 27.10 seconds, finishing nearly five seconds ahead of runners-up Canada. The result qualified a boat for Great Britain into the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London.[5] The crew repeated their gold medal result at the Munich World Cup event in 2012.[1]

Smith was selected along with Relph, Riches, Roe, and van den Broeke, to compete for Great Britain at the 2012 Summer Paralympics in the mixed coxed four event.[6] The event took place between 31 August and 2 September at Eton Dorney.[7] The Great Britain crew won gold.

Smith was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to rowing.[8][9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "David Smith". British Paralympic Association. Retrieved 25 August 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Bowdler, Neil (5 August 2011). "Scot overcomes paralysis to row again for Britain". BBC News. Retrieved 26 August 2012. 
  3. ^ Gough, Martin (29 August 2009). "Britain win two golds at Worlds". BBC Sport. Retrieved 26 August 2012. 
  4. ^ "World Rowing: GB mixed coxed four win adaptive gold". BBC Sport. 4 September 2011. Retrieved 25 August 2012. 
  5. ^ "Wham, bam thank you Pam as rower gets gold to set up London 2012 dream". The Bucks Herald. 8 September 2011. Retrieved 25 August 2012. 
  6. ^ "2012 Paralympics: GB rowing's mixed coxed four - who's who?". BBC Sport. 25 August 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2012. 
  7. ^ "Mixed Coxed Four - LTAMix4+". The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Limited. Retrieved 25 August 2012. 
  8. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 60367. p. 25. 29 December 2012.
  9. ^ [1] Cabinet Office