Heinrich Popow — Seize the challenge

Still, after many years in top-class sports, every four years, the Paralympics are the absolute highlight for all handicapped athletes. The atmosphere, the fans, the stadiums – just priceless. But the youngsters do not sleep. The games in Rio 2016 will be my fourth Paralympics and I am ready to give everything again, to defend my gold medal from 2012 and my world record. Nevertheless: London was unforgettable. Is feels like it just happened yesterday.

7 September 2012: What a day at the Olympic Stadium: 80,000 people create an incredible atmosphere. Flags, Fans, and the flurry of flashing cameras all over the place. And then, all of a sudden, complete silence. The starting signal sounds and the whole stadium goes crazy. Pure madness!

Winners pose: Heinrich Popow at the Olympic Stadium in London (Photo: Ralf Kuckuck)

I cross the finishing line after 12.40 seconds. I did it: gold at the Paralympics. A dream comes true for me with this medal. And one thing is for sure: everything`s possible if you believe in yourself, if you keep in mind your own goals, and if you always look ahead. Just like on September 7th, in 2012. The best day of my life.

Finishing first: Heinrich Popow wins gold in 100 metre final (Photo: Axel Kohring/ Beautiful Sports Images)