Transplant patient strikes gold 11 times at two games
A MID Devon woman returned home with eleven gold medals after taking part in both the European Transplant & Dialysis Games and the British Transplant Games within a matter of days of each other.
Wendy Sincock, from Spreyton, won gold in seven swimming events in the European Games in Zagreb, Croatia, at the end of August before flying straight back to Kent for the British Games where she won a further four golds in the pool.
The 52 year-old swimmer underwent a kidney transplant operation 14 years ago, and feared that her swimming days were over.
She said: "If you could have seen me when I was on dialysis, I couldn't even walk up the stairs without having to stop every couple of stairs for a rest.
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"Through someone's generosity I have regained my health."
But this latest haul of gold medals is a far cry even from her very first Games in Birmingham in 1998 where she won a silver and bronze.
Wendy said: "Once you have regained your fitness after illness you want to demonstrate it.
"Someone has given me this gift of life and I want to show them what I can do with it."
Wendy joined over 300 participants at the European Games, all competing in a number of different sports.
"We went to see the children's obstacle races, with one of the youngest participants being just three years old," she said.
"My husband says it's the most humbling thing he has ever seen.
"I was swimming in an unheated 50m open air pool in 40 degrees Celsius heat. I have never swum in such a marvellous pool. It was so very memorable."
Aside from the five individual events she took part in, Wendy also took part in two team relay events, again winning gold. She said: "The relays are really exciting. It was quite close – we won by about two strokes, everyone was cheering so it was an incredible atmosphere."
Arriving back in the UK, Wendy went straight to the British Transplant Games in Medway, Kent, where she repeated her success and achieved four gold medals in the pool.
"I had planned to do some of the canoeing events in Medway too," she explained. "But the rivers were too flooded so they had to be cancelled."
While the events may now be over for this year, Wendy is still continuing to train hard at Okehampton's Parklands pool and to promote organ donation.