Pearson 'proud to be British'

10 September 2012 / 20:12

Lee Pearson has thanked the British public for helping take the Paralympics to a new level - something that he believes will generate greater equality.

The curtain came down on what is widely believed to be the greatest Paralympic Games of all time on Sunday night, with many highlighting it as a seminal moment for disability sport.

Equestrian dressage rider Pearson - a veteran of four Paralympics - believes the strides made over the past few weeks can have an impact in changing wider perceptions.

"I don't think I need to tell you that London pulled out all the stops for the Paralympic Games," he told Press Association Sport. "I know the public are proud of the athletes, proud of Paralympians.

"You get called an inspiration all the time and do you know what? The athletes are proud of Great Britain, both TeamGB athletes and ParalympicsGB athletes - more so the ParalympicsGB athletes.

"We've never had the crowd, audiences and support like that and that has to be better for general day-to-day living where we all accept each other a bit better. I am proud to be British and proud of the British."

Pearson was speaking after six weeks of incredible sport was celebrated with a parade around London. The streets of the capital were awash with people waving union flags as they cheered on their Olympic and Paralympic heroes.

It was a proud moment for Pearson after he added a gold, silver and bronze to his Paralympic medal haul on home turf.

"It was phenomenal," he said. "I got smiley something rotten. The public had made all this effort to support the Games and come out to the parade. It was actually hurting how much I was smiling but I just wanted to show the public as much appreciation as I could.

"It was phenomenal. The last two weeks have been exhausting. Really tough. I've had a lot going on both in my life and with my horse and it was a tough Games for me. I was pleased to get a medal of any colour so to get the package of bronze, silver and gold I'm over the moon."