Emma Wiggs MBE
Emma Wiggs MBE is a Paralympic gold medal winner and six-time World Champion paracanoeist in the women’s 200m KL2 class. Her sporting career has seen her switch from sitting volleyball to paracanoeing after the London 2012 Olympics.
Despite only moving over to paracanoe four years ago, Emma was one of the first Paralympians to win a gold medal in the sport when it made its debut at the 2016 Paralympics. Before the Games she ensured Britain was the first nation to have a paracanoeist qualify for Rio after she won gold at the 2016 Sprint World Championships in Milan.
In 2017, Emma secured the grand slam in Paracanoe and now holds the British, European, World and Paralympic titles.
Emma grew up doing a variety of sports, but at the age of 18 her mobility in both lower limbs was impaired after she contracted an unknown virus. After being discovered at a Team GB talent day in 2010, she was given the opportunity to try different Paralympic sports before deciding to dedicate herself to sitting volleyball. This paid off and within six months she was selected as captain for the World Championships, leading the team to a bronze medal.
After making her Paralympic debut at London 2012, Emma embarked on her new challenge and in March 2013 she was selected for the GB paracanoe team. Just months later, Emma’s dedication to training led to her selection for the European Championships.
Emma triumphed, returning with a gold medal and the world’s fastest time, only to beat her own record at the World Championships in 2017. So far in her paracanoe career her achievements include two world records, six gold medals from five World Championships, plus three golds and two silvers from the European Championships.
This year Emma managed to realise her dream of winning a gold medal at her second Paralympic Games in Rio, comfortably beating the other competitors in her race by over two seconds. Her achievements were recognised in the 2017 Queen’s New Year Honours list, where Emma was awarded an MBE for services to canoeing.