Name: Aled Sion Davies
Height: 6ft 1inch
City of Birth: Bridgend
City of Residence: Cardiff
Event: Discus and Shot-Put
Personal Best: Discus (49.09m) World and European Record Holder. Shot-Put (15.13m Current European World Record)
Hobbies: Love being a geek from time to time and you can’t beat some online gaming: Xbox One (Aled2012)
Being Welsh I adore Rugby and also follow the Ospreys, I also follow a lot of football including, Swansea City FC and when I’m not doing any of them you’ll catch me playing about on my DJ decks as music plays a huge part in my life.
I remember watching the 2004 Olympic and Paralympic games, turning to my parents and telling them that one day I would like to be on the podium receiving a gold medal.
Growing up I have always been involved in Sport from rugby to swimming, always competing alongside able bodied athletes, I had always felt that I had some disadvantage. I was born with a combined disability of talipese and Hemi-hemilia in my right leg. This limits the functionality of my right leg to a minimum with missing bones, no muscle growth or ligaments and a foot which is fixed and was created at birth. This all changed in 2005 when I was approached to by the Federation of Disability Sport Wales (FDSW) who asked me to join a local disability swimming club. A whole new world of sport was opened to me where I wasn’t always in last place but to be a constant contender for medals. In the fall of 2005 I was invited to Cardiff to try out Athletics with a group of elite paralympians, this is when I was first introduced to my current training partner Nathan Stephens. This was also the first time I picked up a discus and shot-put where I instantly showed a natural talent. As 2006 was approaching I felt like I had reached the highest standard that I could of achieved and that if I was serious on becoming a world class athlete it was time to start using my head and do what I was good at, and as 2006 came around I focused 100% on athletics .
was the beginning of my journey where I was kindly taken under the wing of Anthony Hughes and Nathan Stephens. After several months of training with Anthony, I competed in my first competition in Blackpool at the DSE British Junior Championships where I took Gold in both discus and shot and achieved ‘A’ standard qualifications for the IWAS Junior World Championships in Dublin. In late June of that year I found out I was selected for Team GB and I was on the plane to Dublin not knowing what to expect but being 15 years old I was very eager and excited to compete. This being only the second ever Athletics competition I had done, I was shocked myself that I had returned home with a Gold in Discus and a Bronze in the Shot-Put. That year went from strength to strength with me winning a Silver medal at the UK School Games.
came round fast and as my personal bests progressed and I was selected for the IWAS Senior World Championships in Tai-Pei, Taiwan. This was my first ever senior level competition and at the age 16 years old I was in for a big wake-up call with the standard being much higher. I managed to achieve 5th place in the Discus with a personal best throw of 35.18m and 10th in the shot-put with a personal best of 9.18m. Returning home with two personal best and great experience, I could not have asked for more!
was a sad year for me with big dreams of attending the 2008 Paralympic games in Beijing were crushed when I wasn’t selected for the team. But on the positive side I did progress my personal bests even further to 37.49 in Discus and 10.99m in Shot-Put.
I finished college and moved to Cardiff to study at the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (UWIC). This was a new start and perfect location as I was living on the doorstep where I trained every week. With my sights now set on London 2012. I knew I did not want to miss the opportunity of a life time, competing in home Games and plenty of time to prepare for. Unfortunately, the fresh new start quickly destroyed as I was struck down with a bad knee injury which caused to be out of training for almost a year… psychologically destroyed, I was in pieces.
I made my comeback with solid rehabilitation under my belt and months of hard training I was physically and psychologically ready to take on the world. I managed to attain the qualifying standards for the 2010 IWAS Junior World Championships in Olomouc, Czech Republic. I was a changed person and I knew my objectives and I did everything possible to ensure I was ready to tackle them. With a lifetime best in both disciplines 2 Gold medals and 2 Junior World Records it was good to be back in the game, and with a throw of 42.65m it was a new World Leading throw in the discus which managed to get me selected for the IPC World Championships in New Zealand. That being so, I flew out to Portugal with Anthony Hughes and my training partners in December away from all the snow in preparation for the world championships in New Zealand. The hot weather was ideal as well as being in isolated training environment. 2011 came round and January we were out in the World Championships.
was the most successful World Championships Team GB had done and I returned home with bronze medal in Discus and 4th place in shot-put. I was later upgraded to a silver medal due to an anti-doping ban. 2011 progressed into the best athletics year of my career, winning two gold medals in the IWAS Junior World Championships in Dubai and defending my Junior World Records. As the 2011 summer season came to an end we returned to Portugal for a 2012 simulation camp flying in for the last competition of the season. It was an amazing trip and I couldn’t have thought of a better way to end an amazing year but after returning I had one last competition in Nottingham. I had the best preparation for the grand prix and I furthered my personal best again with a Senior European Record in the Discus of 47.22m only 63cm off the senior World Record and 14.41 in the Shot-Put only 3cm off the senior World Record.
Everything is currently on track to make my dreams a reality and with it now being 2012 I cannot explain how excited I am for the games commence. I hope you will all support me on my journey!
Olympic and Paralympic year…. held in London. I had been dreaming of this year since a youngster when it was announced London will host the games in 2005. Time has flown by since then and here we are now, reflecting, what can only be described as a truly inspiring and world changing games.
I began the year by breaking record in the shot and the discus and I stood strong on top of the rankings heading into the games. I wanted two medals and I wanted one of them to be Gold. I achieved my dreams by winning the men’s discus and coming third in the men’s shot-put. I went abroad most of the year for warm weather training ensuring I had the best preparation. It paid off and everything fell into place. I am now looking forward to winter 2012/2013!
I felt like I had a lot to prove this year as I didn’t want people to think that 2012 was a one off, therefore I spent the winter of 2012/2013 ensuring I came out as a different athlete.
We took everything we had learned over the last 8 years and used it to meld a different breed of animal, I no longer wanted the nick name of ‘The Puppy’ and we decided that when the competition season arrived we wasn’t going in as a friendly athlete, I was going in as a aggressive and determined athlete with only one colour in sight, GOLD, and I wasn’t taking any prisoners!
We nicknamed this new character within me… “The Bear” and we first unleashed it at the IPC World Championships, where I took Gold in both disciplines breaking the World Record in the shot-put to 14.71m and a huge seasons best in the discus of 47.64m. This was the best I had ever performed at a major championships dominating the field from start to finish!
I was delighted that I had done what I wanted to achieve and I also learned so much from it also. All I wanted to to do in 2013 was prove that I’m here for a while and that I can perform when I need too, time and time again.
The last competition of the season for me was the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games where I had the chance to upgrade my bronze from the Paralympics in 2012 to a gold by beating the people that beat me, what an incredible feeling it was to compete back in that stadium in front of yet another magnificent crowd. outstanding.
As 2013 drew to an end I opted to have an operation on my ankle to remove bone and repair tendons. It was a long time coming and I am now fully recovered training hard towards the 2014 Commonwealth Games and IPC European Championships. The Bear is coming…