Wales

Mark Colbourne's gold postbox honour after Paralympics win

  • 1 September 2012
  • From the section Wales

Gold medal winning Paralympic cyclist Mark Colbourne has been honoured with a gold postbox in his hometown and a set of stamps released by the Royal Mail.

Colbourne, 42, claimed Wales' first gold of the 2012 Games in the C1 3km individual pursuit on Friday, setting a new world record.

A postbox in Tredegar, Blaenau Gwent, was painted gold on Saturday and stamps featuring him will be sold.

The cyclist was hailed as a "great role model" after his win.

He was congratulated by his MP Nick Smith and Disability Sport Wales following his gold medal and a silver medal, which was won on Thursday in the C1-2-3 time trial.

Image caption Mark Colbourne has won a gold and silver medal in the velodrome

The Royal Mail is issuing stamps for all gold medal-winning Paralympians and Colbourne is the third member of ParalympicsGB to appear on one.

The stamps will be available within five working days at 500 post office branches around the UK.

An additional 4,700 post offices will receive the gold medal stamps within a week and they can also be purchased online.

Meanwhile, a postbox in Colbourne's hometown of Tredegar will be painted gold to mark his achievement - following on from the tradition the Royal Mail started for gold medal winning Olympians.

Painting of the postbox outside Commercial Street Post Office will begin at 10:00 BST.

'Fantastic achievement'

Colbourne was badly injured in the Gower, Swansea, in a paragliding accident in May 2009.

He was left with a broken back and lower leg paralysis after his paraglider fell to the ground from around 40ft (12m).

Image caption Mark Colbourne is being honoured with a gold postbox in his hometown, along with stamps featuring his image issued by the Royal Mail

He underwent five months of gruelling physiotherapy just to learn to walk again.

It is Colbourne's first Paralympic Games and he is already his sport's world champion.

His gold medal success has been welcomed by a number of leading officials and fellow cyclists.

Olympic gold medalist Geraint Thomas, from Cardiff, told BBC Radio Wales: "I've spoken quite a bit to Mark over the last year or so, he's a great bloke.

"[Paralympians] all work so hard so it's great so seee them achieving what they set out to do."

Colbourne's local Labour MP Nick Smith said: "Mark is a great role model for young people throughout the country. His courage and endurance is remarkable and he's an inspiring ambassador for sport."

Jon Morgan, the chief executive of Disability Sport Wales, said Colbourne had put in an amazing performance to win gold.

"In his first Paralympic Games he won Paralympics GB's first medal of the Games on day one, and breaks a world record and wins gold on day two. What can I say - a fantastic achievement," he added.

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