To compete in front of your home crowd with everyone behind you is just the most amazing feeling - I'm absolutely ecstatic. I'm never going to forget this
(PRWEB) September 08, 2012
"It's a total disbelief moment that's not gonna sink in for a long time," Pearson told C4 Paralympics. "It's the culmination of so many years' hard work - amazing. Everything's paid off and I can't believe it. I can now say that I'm Paralympic champion!"
The 26-year-old, sporting Union Jack earrings, topped the results table with a world record-breaking throw of 6.58m, leaving her nearest rival, Catherine O'Neill of Ireland, trailing in her wake.
After her throws she was given a points score of 1122 - revised to take into account the severity of her disability - which left her 242 points clear of the rest of the field. Incredibly, all six of her throws were good enough to win gold.
"To compete in front of your home crowd with everyone behind you is just the most amazing feeling - I'm absolutely ecstatic. I'm never going to forget this," she said. "The atmosphere was mind-blowing, and knowing people have paid good money to come and support you just gives you that extra boost."
Pearson was left paralysed from the chest down after breaking her neck when she was 17 in a car accident that claimed the life of her boyfriend. She took up sport as part of her recovery, and became the first woman to represent ParalympicsGB at wheelchair rugby in Beijing in 2008.
After turning her attention to athletics, she was forced to give up wheelchair racing because of the risk of injury and only took up discus 18 months ago. Within a few months she had thrown 6m – just 13cm short of the F51 world record in the discus.
"It took me a while to find my sport," she joked. "I started wheelchair racing but didn't do as well as I wanted to do, so I started to chuck stuff instead!"
And now she's made it to a gold medal at London 2012.
"Being at a home games has been the most amazing experience of my life," said Pearson.
"The whole experience has been phenomenal. I'm going to celebrate with chocolate, crisps and a glass of wine!"