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European Transplant Games in Oxford: a triumph for our athletes


Aug 31, 2022

BRITISH athletes triumphed in this year’s European Transplant and Dialysis Games, held in Oxfordshire for the first time.

The games, which welcomed 400 athletes from all over Europe, all transplant recipients or dialysis patients, opened with a parade at the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford and took place over a week at Radley College, near Abingdon, and at the Blenheim Palace, near Woodstock.

Team Great Britain and Northern Ireland led on the medal table throughout the event – by Thursday evening, the team had managed to take home 61 gold medals, 47 silver and 48 bronze. Hungary was second with 22 gold medals and Germany in third place with 11.

In the football tournament, Team GB and NI faced off against the Netherlands in the final match, displaying impressive skills and teamwork which led them to a 4-0 win, taking home the gold medal.

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The team’s manager and coach, Daley Cross, said: “We were so proud when we won the gold medal at the World Transplant Games in Newcastle in 2019 and were determined to bring it home again this year.

“I’m immensely proud of the whole team, their drive and determination has been phenomenal, and it’s been an honour to represent Team GB and NI in the first ever European Games on home soil – winning the gold medal was just the icing on the cake.”

Cyclist Mike Oliver, 59, from Witney, won two bronze medals – in the 7K time trial and in the road race – and said he was pleased to be recognised as part of an international competition.

He said: “I was really pleased with how it went and I feel that the training really helped. The opening ceremony at the Sheldonian Theatre was incredible – it was nice meeting with old friends that I had not seen for a number of years, there was a feeling of renewal.

“The weather was gorgeous as we cycled at Blenheim Palace and the temperature was just right. It was a great event and it really showed what people who have received transplants can do – I feel that sometimes it’s easy to forget what you can do.

“It’s not an easy life and it’s nice to be able to see and meet people that have gone through something similar to you.”

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After the gala, charity Transplant Sport, which organised the games, posted online saying: “We couldn't think of a better way to end such a fantastic event here in Oxford, thank you to everyone that joined us for our closing ceremony and gala, we hope you had as much fun as we did.

“A big thank you to everyone that helped make the first ever European Transplant and Dialysis Sports Championships in the UK such a roaring success, bring on the next one.”

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This story was written by Anna Colivicchi, she joined the team this year and covers health stories for the Oxfordshire papers.

Get in touch with her by emailing: Anna.colivicchi@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @AnnaColivicchi