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David Weir


Vital Statistics Current
Age 36
Medals 6 Gold

Chances are you’ve heard of David Weir – the recently retired Team GB wheelchair athlete who won four gold medals in London in 2012.

Well, it turns out he’s a MASSIVE fan of Muscle Food, so we just had to talk to him about his amazing journey from new starter to Paralympic gold in his home city.

While he’s turned out to be an amazing wheelchair athlete, did you know he actually wanted to be a basketball player first?

David

However, early on in his childhood of playing team sports, he quickly realised that individual sports were in his DNA – believing in self-responsibility and improvement.

And after winning FOUR medals in London, you’ve got to think he made the right choice. And while he's not managed to keep a hold of his gold-medal position this year, it's fair to say he is one of the greatest paralympic champions we've ever had! We chatted to David while he was driving on the way to the airport, to fly to Rio.


Interview with David Weir

Tell me about your sporting history?

As a child, I wanted to play basketball – but unfortunately there were no teams near me.

Since my parents were on full time jobs, making the trek all the way to North London was not possible!

But then I soon realised I was more suited to individual sport over team – I became very frustrated at other people in my team if we didn’t win.

With wheelchair racing, it’s down to you – if you don’t win, you don’t win.

That’s the attitude I had from an early age and while I love watching team sports, I realised I’m better suited to individual sport where you can only blame yourself for bad performance.

I just hated losing at an early age. Shortly after this, I watched the London Marathon on TV – and I told my parents this was my dream. Since then, I’ve never looked back.

David British Flag

You’ve won the London Marathon 6 times, took home 6 gold medals at 2008 and 2012 Paralympics, and even carried the flag in the 2012 closing ceremony. You are widely considered one of Britain’s best Paralympians. How does it feel to be such a huge name in the Paralympic games?

To be honest, I don’t realise I am until I get to somewhere and realise it.

Even for the Rio games, I had a whole media day for myself and seeing this happen around me really put things into perspective.

It was quite crazy to think that the TV, papers, radio all wanted an interview me. It really hit home that I’m quite high up in sport, when I just see myself as a normal lad who does wheelchair racing.

But now, we turn to the future and your goal to add 5 more medals to your total in Rio. How do you prepare yourself for something like that?

Maybe! Maybe add 5 medals. To be honest, the world of wheelchair racing has jumped again in 4 years and it would be a privilege to win only one.

I don’t like to put that level of pressure on myself – just turn up and hope for the best.

I know I achieved my goal of winning golds at London in 2012, but I don’t base my performance on achievement

David Weir

Speaking of London 2012, how did it feel to pick up the gold in your home nation?

It’s never going to be repeated again - that atmosphere and being a London lad, winning in the stadium and the streets of London in front of Buckingham Palace.

It was all just so special to me and I will never forget it. Nothing will ever beat picking up that medal in my home city, and singing the national anthem with thousands of other people.

Those memories will never ever disappear.

And you are due to have a baby the day before the marathon… Does news like that affect you and the way you look at the games?*

But you know, we’ve got a good support system in place around us. This is what I do as a living and my partner’s really understanding – backs me 100% on whatever I do.

*Congratulations to David and Emily on the birth of Lenny Weir!

Nathan with Bow

Let’s get onto your fitness: What does your average week of training look like on the run up to Rio?

At the moment, it’s quite intense because you need to cover a lot of events.

More intensity than volume at the moment. 2x sessions Monday – Wednesday, Thursday is pencilled in as a day off depending how hard I’ve worked on past three days. Only proper day off is Sunday.

David Diets

Do you have a favourite exercise and one that you hate?

I hate training for long distance on the track – it’s the most boring thing to do. Lap after lap after lap, I get no enjoyment out of it.

Ages ago I used to hate 400m work, but now I love it. I just prefer short, sharp, intense exercise.

And now onto diet: If we were to raid your kitchen right now… What would we see in there? What makes the diet of a Paralympic champion such as yourself?

Lots of protein – so chicken and turkey. And I consume lots of recovery stuff lots of recovery stuff – drinks, water, etc.

Really it’s just a mixture of everything. I’m luckier than most athletes, because since I do so much mileage, I can mix it up with fish and stuff. Add some real variety to the diet.

Any MuscleFood favourites?

There’s a lot! I like the Chicken breasts – they are big and don’t shrivel up, so you can see the quality.

I love the steaks too – they’re very juicy and taste great. Pretty much most of the order, always can’t wait for the next one.

David Weir

Do your macro splits stay the same all season round, or do they change as you close in on competitions?

My Macros? What are those?

…That’s probably the best answer we’ve ever had! Macros are what are the specific amounts of protein, carbs and fat that every athlete keeps a strict control over.

Oh right! I don’t really have anything written down, but leading up to the competition I vary depending on what I’m doing – high carb before a workout, high protein after.

Final few questions: Have you ever faced adversity because of your disability? How have you overcome it?

Probably when I was younger, but not in this day and age – unless I’ve been a blind eye to it.

Do you feel there are enough opportunities for disabled children to play sport?

In this day and age with the internet, there are a lot of clubs around the country for every sport you could think of – the opportunities are far greater to get involved.

And finally, any words of inspiration/advice you would give to anybody looking to overcome their disability and compete just like you?

My final words would be to believe in your ability, not your disability.

I really like that! Is it something you came up with yourself or did you hear it?

In 2012, somebody sent me a picture of me with my hand up crossing the line.

The picture had that quote on it, and it’s been in the back of my head ever since. It’s probably the best quote I’ve ever heard and one that every Paralympian thinks of.

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