Name: Robert Oliver
Born: 14 January 1988, Birmingham
Sport: Paracanoe K1 200m Sprint
Trains: National Watersports Centre, Nottingham
Coach: Colin Radmore
2016 Paralympian, Rio de Janeiro
Silver Medal – 2015 World Championships
2015 European Champion
Current K1 200m British No.1
K1 200m British record holder
Unbeaten on British water
Represented Great Britain in 4 World Championships
Part of the Paralympic Inspirational Program
Rob is a talented sportsman; after a spell as a weightlifter he played football at a variety of levels from age 13-19. However in 2008 he suffered two fractures in his leg during an amateur football match and it wasn’t until four days after Rob was admitted to hospital that it was confirmed he had compartment syndrome and was rushed into emergency surgery. In total Rob had 17 operations to attempt to repair the damage but it was too late, and, in October that year, Rob was told his only option was to have a below-the-knee amputation on his right leg. Rob was only 20 years old and up until that point had always been very active, he became depressed as he felt like this area of his life had come to an end, until he found kayaking in 2011. Once he realised he could still take part in competitive sport as an amputee he decided to dedicate his life to becoming the very best.
“When I first lost my leg I was so angry with everyone and everything,” Rob said. “But as soon as I got over that first year, I thought I have to get on with it, and I have never looked back since". Fast-forward five years, and the former aerospace engineer, came 5th in a competitive KL3 200m Final at the Rio Paralympics. Having won silver at the 2015 World Championships and qualified the quota place for Great Britain for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio where Paracanoe made its Paralympic debut. Rob won both KL3 races at the British Canoeing Paralympic selection trials to secure his own nomination for Paralympics GB. Rob has already achieved a lot in the past few years, going from someone who had never set foot inside a kayak to becoming the 2015 European Champion in his class K1 200m KL3.
Rob has made an number of media appearances and has undertaken a number of speaking engagements and he is always very well received. He has a very inspiring story to tell about overcoming adversity to reach the top of his sport.