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Alice Tai said winning her second Commonwealth Games gold medal was ‘so special’ – only months after learning how to walk again.
Tai stormed to victory in the Women’s 100m Backstroke S8 final, clocking 1:13:64 to win by more than four seconds. An emotional Tai was forced to miss the rearranged Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games due to surgery and then had part of her leg amputated in January.
Tai was born with bilateral talipes (club feet) which led to multiple operations as a youngster and increasing pain afterwards and required her to use crutches as a mobility aid.
However, the pressure on her arms left her requiring surgery on both elbows last year and as a result, she had to pull out of the Tokyo Paralympics. While undergoing rehabilitation and struggling with her mobility, she asked once again about the possibility of having her right foot amputated.
Tai, who won seven golds at the 2019 Para-swimming World Championships in London, underwent surgery to her leg amputated below the knee and, working with coach Dave Heathcock at Ealing Swimming Club, has had to relearn how to be an elite swimmer.
She made her international return in June's Para-swimming World Championships in Madeira, winning silver in the S8 100m freestyle to set her up for the gold medal performance at the Commonwealth Games.
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