3 September 2020

John Cavanagh announces his retirement from archery

A veteran of five Paralympic Games and Athens 2004 gold medallist John Cavanagh has announced his retirement from archery due to an ongoing shoulder injury.

The Londoner represented ParalympicsGB from the Sydney 2000 games through to Rio 2016 setting a points record in 2004 on his way to gold and following that up with a silver medal in Beijing 2008.

Reflecting on his 31-year archery career, John said: “Retiring from the competitive aspect of archery at the end of this summer has actually been my intention for a couple of years. The plan was to try and compete at the Tokyo Paralympic Games and then finish regardless of whether or not I made the team. With the Games now postponed for a year there was an option to continue into 2021 but the steady worsening of my long-term injuries means that this is not possible – and to attempt to do so would only exacerbate the problems.

“What I will miss the most are all the various archers, judges, and volunteers from the worldwide archery family that I have regularly met at so many international tournaments. Some have been around for just as long as I have! What I definitely won’t miss are those pre-5am starts before spending all day on a windy, wet, cold and muddy archery field!”

Cavanagh at Athens 2004

Penny Briscoe, ParalympicsGB Chef de Mission said: “To represent your country at five consecutive Paralympic Games is an outstanding achievement and evidence of his excellence, commitment and dedication to the sport.

Seeing John win Gold at Athens 2004 was a real highlight for me but John was not only a brilliant athlete at the top of his sport but also a great team member and ambassador for Archery GB and ParalympicsGB. I want to thank him for the part he has played in the proud history of ParalympicsGB and wish him well for his future endeavours.”

Tom Duggan, Paralympic Performance Manager, said: “John’s knowledge, experience and passion for the sport, not to mention his achievements within it, are outstanding. None of us would be here, doing what we are privileged to do as staff and athletes, without the hard work and achievements of people such as John, so we owe him a big debt of gratitude.”

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