Paralympic and World champion para-canoeist Anne Dickins has retired from competitive sport. The chartered physiotherapist and Mammoth Ambassador won gold in the 200m KL3 class at the 2016 Rio Games, gaining Paralympic GB’s 100th medal in the process.
Already a double World Champion and triple European Champion in the 200m kayak, Anne was also honoured with an MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list.
“The last four years in elite sport couldn’t have gone any better,” Anne said. “To win Paralympic gold and then to get awarded an MBE, a Blue Peter badge, and to get married concluded an amazing 2016.
“Even though I won’t be racing, I believe I can still inspire people, which was always my goal.”
Anne, 50, had been an endurance mountain biker before rupturing a disc in her back through a freak injury. The injury permanently damaged the nerves in her leg and it was 6 months before she could walk again properly. Unable to cycle competitively, it was a chance meeting with the British para-canoe coach while volunteering as a Gamesmaker at London 2012 that encouraged her to test her skills on the water.
Ironically, Anne first had to overcome seasickness before she could take training seriously. But it wasn’t long before she had become one of the sport’s elite athletes.
It was in 2014 that Anne first began working with Mammoth. As a para-athlete and Chartered Physiotherapist, Anne wanted to take every possible measure to improve recovery and protect her back as she trained. She contacted Mammoth’s Founder and Managing Director, John Tuton, and soon swapped her “10-year-old lumpy mattress” for Mammoth’s unique Medical Grade Foam™:
“I did a lot of research. As a physiotherapist I wanted a mattress with the science behind it and as an elite para-athlete I wanted something comfortable to assist my recovery and look after my body while I’m asleep. I actually tried many mattresses. Mammoth was the one that had all the science to back it up and was exceptionally comfortable.”
During her training for Rio in 2016, Anne even shared her experience of her sleeping at home versus sleeping on an unfamiliar hotel bed using her Fitbit tracker, proving that Mammoth really does make a difference.