Olivia Breen, also known as Livvy, was born on 26th July 1996 by an emergency caesarean section. Olivia contracted a Meningitis type illness at birth which left her in the Special Care Baby Unit at Guildford Hospital for a month. She left the hospital with her twin brother Daniel but didn’t thrive and was late reaching all her milestones. She was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at aged 2. She is also hearing impaired and has some learning difficulties.
Olivia always found school difficult but was always a good runner. Sports day was always a great day for Olivia as it was the one day during the year when she was better than most of her classmates at something.
In early 2012 Olivia went to a UK Athletics event where she got a national classification to run as a disabled T38 athlete. At the end of June she made her GB debut at the European Championships in Holland where she met the world's best in her category and from which she came back with 2 bronze medals. The most exciting day of her life was 9th July when she took the call telling her she had been chosen to represent GB in her class in the 100m, 200m and 4 x 100m relay. She was the second youngest paralympian on the team.
At the Games Olivia came fifth in the final of the 100m on 1st September. The relay was on 4th September in the evening, immediately after David Weir won his second gold medal. Olivia ran the first leg of the relay and amazingly the girls set a new British record. Her last race of the Games was the 200m on 6th September. She qualified for the final and came eighth.
Since those amazing days of the Paralympic Games Olivia’s life has completely changed. She was awarded a Sky Academy Athletic Scholarship in August 2013 and as a result she moved to an athletics academy in St Albans which is attached to Oaklands sixth form college and to her coaches Jonas and Julie Dodoo. Since 2014 she has also been training for the long jump and she represented Wales at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow where she came fifth. Also in the summer of 2014 she represented GB at the European Championships where she won a bronze medal in the 100m and a silver in the T35-8 4 x 100m relay.
In October 2015 Olivia travelled to Doha for the IPC World Championships where she came fourth in the 100m and 200m and sixth in the long jump. She also ran the first leg of the 4 x 100m relay which went on to win a gold medal and create a new world record.I n June 2016, Olivia competed at the IPC European Championship in Grosetto, Italy where she came 7th in the 100m and 200m and 4th in the long jump. Again she ran the first leg of the 4 x 100m relay and the girls went on to win gold and break another world record.
In September 2016 Olivia competed at the Rio Paralympic Games. She achieved 7th place in the 100m but sadly did not qualify for the long jump final and was not selected for the 4 x 100m relay.
Aftter the disappointment of Rio Olivia moved to Loughborough College trains under long jump coach, Aston Moore. Less than a year later at the 2017 IPC World Championships in London Olivia secured a gold medal in the T38 Long Jump jumping a lifetime best of 4.81m in front of an incredible home crowd. A few days later she came fourth in the T38 100m.
In April 2018 Olivia travelled with Team Wales to the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. She competed on the first day of Athletics and won Wales its first Athletics gold medal in the T37/8 Long Jump where she jumped 4.86, a pb and a new Games record. A few days later she was delighted to win a bronze medal in the T37/8 100m.
In November 2019, Olivia competed in the IPC World Championships in Dubai and won a bronze medal in the T38 long jump in a very tough competition into a strong headwind and came fourth in the 100m. Following a successful competition, Olivia is now very excited about preparations fro Tokyo 2020.