Tokyo Paralympics 2020: Portsmouth shooting ace Lorraine Lambert returns to proud friends and family in the city
PARALYMPIC shooting ace Lorraine Lambert has returned to Portsmouth after representing the UK in a history-making Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
The 48-year-old, who grew up in Milton, has returned to Portsmouth from the Summer Paralympics after coming 15th in the R8 women’s 50m rifle competition.
The athlete, who had her left leg amputated following a rock climbing accident in 1997, said she was ‘disappointed’ to come home without a medal – but the Games marks her overcoming extraordinary obstacles in the run-up to the competition.
The road to the Games has not been easy for the ace sharpshooter, as Covid-19 has stopped her travelling to replace broken equipment, her beloved cat Sparkles was diagnosed with cancer, and her mum suffered a heart attack in May.
Lorraine said: ‘We train to win so it’s pretty disappointing – but it was so much more than that for me.
‘Mum had her heart attack and I was in training in Wales and I had to rush back.
‘Then my gun broke the week before and I wasn’t able to travel to get it repaired.
‘It has been quite tough – but I gave it my all.’
And Lorraine’s family ‘couldn’t be more proud of her’, according to beaming mum Marier Whitcombe, who has now recovered from her heart attack.
She said: ‘She has worked so hard – she is so very determined. Two days after her accident she was standing up on a (prosthetic leg) – the nurses said they hadn’t seen anyone do that so quickly.’
Lorraine’s husband Wayne added: ‘She’s had to fight a lot.
‘She’s had a lot of problems leading up to the Games.
‘But she has done absolutely amazing.
‘If you cut her, I’m sure bullets would come out.’
Lorraine is now looking forward to resting after a challenging year, and later in the year hopes to deliver motivational speeches to schools across the city.
Her return comes as the ParalympicsGB team celebrates making history in Tokyo, as the team reached the podium in more sports than any other nation at a single games.
The British team won medals across 18 sports and finished second behind China on the medal table with 124 medals overall, including 41 gold, 38 silver and 45 bronze.