Surprise party for Paralympic gold medallist Jeanette Chippington

James Hockaday

Crowds flocked to the Magnet Leisure Centre on Saturday as Paralympic gold medallist Jeanette Chippington was treated to a surprise party.

Jeanette, 46, who was born in Maidenhead, is the first person to win a Paralympic gold medal in paracanoeing, which was introduced at this year's Rio games.

Jeanette, who before paracanoeing swam in five Paralympics, now has 13 Paralympic medals, including three golds.

She visited the leisure centre in Holmanleaze, where she works as a swim instructor, and was surprised by a guard of honour with friends and fellow swimmers all congratulating her.

Staff also presented a special paralympic cake with a gold medal on it.

Jeanette said: "It's just absolutely incredible coming in and seeing everybody, it's been quite emotional."

The athlete started paracanoeing in 2011 after retiring from swimming in 2004 after the 2004 Athens Paralympics but never saw herself getting this far.

"I thought I'm never going to like it, going out in the cold, but once I did it I absolutely loved it," she said.

"To get the very first gold medal in paracanoeing, that's in history."

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