London 2012 Paralympics: Zoe Newson
Time Out meets Britain's brightest powerlifter who also loves shopping on Oxford Street
What would your advice be to someone taking up your sport?
My advice for someone taking up the sport would be to enjoy competing and travelling. It also keeps you fit and shows people how strong you are.
What have you had to give up in order to do hours of rigorous training? Do you regret this at all?
I have had to give up playing football and athletics in order to do the hours of training, but I certainly don't regret this at all as I get to travel the world now. Also my legs played up every time I played football so I started powerlifting instead.
If the monarchy suddenly disbanded, what song would you want played at your gold medal ceremony instead?
The song I would want played at my gold medal ceremony would be Olly Murs, Please Don't Let Me Go. I like Olly and this song of his is my favourite.
What’s your guilty pleasure in London?
My guilty pleasure and favourite spot is Oxford Street as I like the shops. I do enjoy shopping and the stores are a lot bigger than my local ones.
Who’s your Olympics crush?
My olympic crush is Iwan Thomas. I think he was a good runner and now he does a lot of TV work.
Many people start practising a sport but never make it to competition level - what made you persist and what advice would you give others?
I persisted with training and never thought I would compete at the level that I do. My advice to others would be to never give up and to listen to people like your coaches.
What goes through your head whilst competing? Do you have any superstitions or mental tricks?
When competing I think of the people who are close to me. I also try to stay focused on just lifting the weights. I do not have any superstitions or mental tricks.
What does your diet consist of, and how does it change when you're training?
My diet mainly consists of chicken. My favourite food is Heinz beans and sausages – I always take a few tins to every competition. I have to eat a balanced diet as my sport is weight related so I can't eat what I like all the time. When leading up to a competition I have to diet but I also have to make sure I eat enough not to lose my strength.
What physical achievement are you most proud of?
The achievement that I am most proud of is becoming world junior champion in Malaysia last year. To hear the national anthem and to see the GB flag raised for me was such a special moment.
What will be unique about a London Paralympics?
I think taking part in the London Paralympics will be unique because it could be my first time taking part. It would also be good as more of my friends could watch me.