Emma took up powerlifting at a ‘have a go’ session at Stoke Mandeville.
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She decided to take the sport seriously after lifting a British senior record with her first attempt.
She made a piece of history at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games when she become the first British woman to win a Paralympic Games powerlifting gold medal – the sport for women made its debut in Sydney.
She retired from powerlifting due to injury in 2007. And she did it in style, equalling her own world record of 132.5kg to take gold in the under 82.5kg category, before extending her world record to 135kg with her fourth lift. It was a particularly remarkable performance as Emma had only returned to full training 10 weeks before Sydney following a wrist injury.
Emma successfully defended her title at the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games to collect her second Paralympic Games gold medal. This time things were a little closer though. Emma lifted 130kg, the same weight as French lifter Carine Burgy, but Emma took gold as a result of her lighter body weight. Emma was Britain’s only powerlifting medallist at Athens 2004.
Emma’s many achievements in the sport also include a gold medal in the 1998 World Championships in Dubai and again four years later in Malaysia, as well as European Championships golds in 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2005.