Paralympic gold medallist ties the knot
11:30am Thursday 3rd October 2013 in NW
Heather with the golden postbox in Market Street, Leigh, dedicated to her London 2012 gold medal victory
PARALYMPIC gold medallist Heather Frederiksen took centre stage again on Friday afternoon.
It was another memorable day for the 27-year-old from Leigh when she married 29-year-old Paul Walmsley, from Westhoughton, at Worsley Courthouse.
Heather was one of the most successful swimmers in Beijing 2008, winning a bronze medal, two silver medals and setting a world record to win a gold medal in the 100m backstroke.
She followed that up in amazing style last year with a gold and three silver medals at the London Games, then was made an MBE this year for her services to swimming.
Now taking the plunge and getting hitched is a major moment in the life of the golden girl, for whom 2013 has had its highs and lows.
Soon after she received the news that she had been awarded the MBE Heather was struck a cruel blow to her health.
“It started with an asthma attack then I developed pneumonia. I spent four days in intensive care and two-and-a-half weeks in hospital,” said driving instructor Heather.
Her proud mum Lynne Frederiksen said: “She has not been allowed in the water since February and she is still fighting to build up her strength.”
Dad John, speaking on the day of the wedding, said: “We are so proud of her.
“She is determined to get back in action and we all know what a fighter she is.”
But Friday was another golden day for Heather, who arrived in an ivory limousine for her wedding to Paul, who is a security officer at Liverpool Airport.
Best man was Paul’s brother, Darren, and other attendants included Paul’s sister, Rachel Waters.
The newlyweds will enjoy a honeymoon in Egypt before returning to their home in Lowton and Heather will be back to work at her driving school.
The Paralympian hero first took to the water at the age of five at Howe Bridge Pool at Atherton when she was a pupil at Leigh CE Infants School.
She progressed to become the UK 10km open water champion then was injured in a swimming accident in 2004, resulting in the restricted use of her right arm and leg.
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