Mike Kenny (swimmer)

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Mike Kenny
MBE
Personal information
Born (1945-01-30) 30 January 1945 (age 72)
Sport
Country  United Kingdom
Sport Paralympic swimming
Retired 1988

Mike Kenny, MBE (born 30 January 1945) is a retired British swimmer. He won 16 gold medals and two silvers over four Paralympic Games making him the most successful British Paralympian of all time. He twice retained his gold medals in three swimming events, breaking numerous world records in the process.

Biography[edit]

Michael Joseph Kenny was born on 30 January 1945. Kenny was an engineer in the nuclear power industry and in 1971, while working a shift as a favour for a friend, he fell from the ladder he was using to work on a metal rig. He landed on his heels and the force was sent straight up his spine to his neck causing permanent damage and paralysing him.[1] He began swimming as part of the recovery process.[2]

While competing at the Toronto 1976 Paralympic Games, Kenny shared a room with future International Paralympic Committee (IPC) president Philip Craven, in Canada's York University, where the British athletes were housed.[3] He did not attend York University in the UK, as is often mistakenly asserted.

Kenny is the most successful British Paralympian having won 16 individual gold medals and two team relay silver medals.[2][4][5] His achievements were not fully recognised at the time because the IPC and the British Paralympic Association were not established until 1989 and the results were not compiled until after Kenny had retired. Wheelchair racer Tanni Grey-Thompson was given the title of Britain's most prolific Paralympian until the discovery of Kenny's successes.[6] Regarding Grey-Thompson, Kenny has said:

"It's been suggested I am annoyed because she has all the glory. But that's not true. She is a smashing ambassador for the Paralympic movement and I have never had a cross word with her in my life."[1]

Kenny has been a local magistrate in Salford, Greater Manchester since 1993. He initially applied to become a magistrate upon his retirement from sport in 1988, but had to wait four years for step-free access to be installed. Kenny received an MBE for his services to paraplegic sport at Buckingham Palace on 7 November 1989.

Swimming results[edit]

In 1973, Kenny started competing at national level, entering his first Paralympics in 1976 in Toronto.[2] He took part in three 25 m class 1A swimming events (backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle) winning gold in each of them and taking the world record in the freestyle and backstroke events.[7][8][9] He defended all three titles in 1980 and once again broke the freestyle and backstroke world records.[10][11][12] In 1984 he again won gold in those three events, breaking the world records in each one.[13][14][15] He also won the 3 × 25 m individual medley and was part of the Great Britain relay team who won silver in the 3 × 25 m freestyle relay.[2] He repeated his successes in 1988 winning five individual golds and a relay silver but did not improve on his times and retired from competitive swimming after the Games.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Baxter, Trevor (5 September 2012). "Salford's 16-time winner Mike Kenny finally gets the recognition he deserves". Manchester Evening News. MEN Media. Retrieved 6 September 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Mike Kenny". Paralympians' Club. Retrieved 29 August 2012. 
  3. ^ Miller, Joe (5 September 2012). "Meet Britain's other greatest Paralympian". The Daily Telegraph. London. 
  4. ^ "Athlete Search Results". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 29 August 2012. 
  5. ^ Newman, Paul (19 August 2012). "Unbeaten since 2003: Is Esther the greatest ever Paralympian?". London: The Independent. Retrieved 29 August 2012. 
  6. ^ "Paralympics: Roberts set medal challenge". WalesOnline. Media Wales Ltd. 10 September 2008. Archived from the original on 17 September 2008. Retrieved 29 August 2012. 
  7. ^ "Toronto 1976 Paralympic Games Swimming Men's 25 m Backstroke 1A". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 29 August 2012. 
  8. ^ "Toronto 1976 Paralympic Games Swimming Men's 25 m Breaststroke 1A". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 29 August 2012. 
  9. ^ "Toronto 1976 Paralympic Games Swimming Men's 25 m Freestyle 1A". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 29 August 2012. 
  10. ^ "Arnhem 1980 Paralympic Games Swimming Men's 25 m Backstroke 1A". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 29 August 2012. 
  11. ^ "Arnhem 1980 Paralympic Games Swimming Men's 25 m Breaststroke 1A". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 29 August 2012. 
  12. ^ "Arnhem 1980 Paralympic Games Swimming Men's 25 m Freestyle 1A". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 29 August 2012. 
  13. ^ "New York / Stoke Mandeville 1984 Paralympic Games Swimming Men's 25 m Backstroke 1A". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 29 August 2012. 
  14. ^ "New York / Stoke Mandeville 1984 Paralympic Games Swimming Men's 25 m Breaststroke 1A". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 29 August 2012. 
  15. ^ "New York / Stoke Mandeville 1984 Paralympic Games Swimming Men's 25 m Freestyle 1A". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 29 August 2012.