Simon Jackson (judoka)
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|Born||28 May 1972|
Simon Jackson MBE (born 28 May 1972) is a visually impaired judoka and cyclist from Britain. He has competed in five Paralympic Games winning gold medals in three consecutive Games. Jackson is the only British person to win a Paralympic judo gold medal and the most successful judo competitor from the country. In addition to his Paralympic success he also won three world titles and 16 European gold medals. He switched to tandem cycling and won two events in 2009.
Jackson won gold medals at the 1988, 1992, and 1996 Summer Paralympics and bronze at the 2000 Games in his judo weight class. His loss to Cuban Isao Rafael Cruz Alonso ended a winning streak that had lasted 162 bouts. At the 2004 Games he lost in the first round against Sergiy Sydorenko, staging a sit-down protest against the referee's decision to award Sydorenko a match-winning yuko. Jackson claims that he was off the mat and that the points should not have been awarded. After the match the referee watched a video recording of the incident and confirmed the decision. Jackson remains Britain's most successful judo competitor.
In 2008 Jackson was forced to retire from judo competition after suffering a back injury. He began to focus on tandem cycling and partnered Barney Storey. He just missed out on selection for the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing but the pair went on to win gold at two events at the 2009 BT Paralympic World Cup.
Jackson was a member of the Channel 4 commentary team for the London 2012 Paralympic Games, covering judo alongside Neil Adams. Based on his experiences of disability sport he is also a motivational speaker.
In December 2012 Jackson was convicted of fraudulently claiming over £10,000 for taxi rides that he did not make. He was claiming the money from an access to work grant as he is unable to travel on public transport. After a tip-off the Department for Work and Pensions monitored his activities in July 2011 and discovered that he was receiving a lift from his wife. On 22 January 2013 Jackson was given a four-month community order and a curfew. He paid back the money and the court costs.
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- James Rush (22 January 2013). "Blind Paralympic judo star stole £10,000 in disability benefits after claiming for taxi rides he never took". Daily Mail. Associated Newspapers Ltd. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
- "Simon Jackson". British Paralympic Association. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
- Elizabeth Hudson (25 May 2009). "Judo blow for Jackson". BBC News. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
- Elizabeth Hudson (25 May 2009). "Jackson gets taste for cycling gold". BBC News. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
- "Unprecedented Rolling Coverage for London 2012". International Paralympic Committee (IPC). 28 May 2012. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
- Pete Bainbridge (12 December 2012). "Shame of Paralympic gold medal hero Simon Jackson, convicted of £10k benefit fraud". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
- Duncan Mackay (13 December 2012). "Paralympic triple gold medallist convicted of cheating taxpayers". Inside the Games. Dunsar Media Company Limited. Retrieved 7 August 2013.