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Gold medal for amputee Ben Simmons
DETERMINED amputee Ben Simmons has claimed gold in world championships in Scotland.
The former Wey Valley pupil scooped the medal at the Duathlon World Championships – a run, cycle and run event – in Edinburgh.
Ben, aged 36, who is from Weymouth but now works in New York, was praised for his bravery in childhood when he underwent three operations to amputate the bottom half of his left leg.
He has also run the New York Marathon and is also looking forward to the Chicago Marathon.
His mother Rosemarie, his friend Mick Ellis, brother Nick and sister Lucy were among the family who travelled to support Ben.
Ben said: “The event in Edinburgh was a great experience.
“I'm very lucky to have such great support from my family.
“It was fantastic to be able to race alongside other athletes from all around the world.
“In particular, seeing people overcome various disabilities to participate alongside everyone else in these sporting events is very inspiring.”
Ben, who wears a special prosthetic leg, ran 5.75km, then cycled 23.3km before running another 3km in the event.
He claimed gold in his category of the championship for 1,000 able-bodied and disabled athletes.
Mother Rosemarie, who lives in Preston, Weymouth, said: “As a family we are so proud of him. He has shown great determination.”
She added: “Ben came over for the whole week.
“The four of us went up to support him. The championships were in the grounds of Holyrood Park.”
Former Weymouth College student Ben, who works as a stock market analyst for Reuters in Times Square, underwent the operations as a youth.
He was recognised for his bravery with a cup at Wey Valley School but also met stars of the Weymouth summer show and opened the intrepid birdman contest.
He was also invited on a trip of a lifetime on Richard Branson’s record-breaking Virgin Atlantic Challenger boat when it stopped off in Weymouth Harbour.
Ben, whose father is the late county solicitor John Simmons, is also the brother of Tim and Fiona.
Ben, who went to Reading University, paid a surprise visit from New York to Weymouth for his mum's birthday and took her to see Weymouth Football Club seven years ago.