Nissan engineer Anna Nicholson speaks of joy after competing in Tokyo 2020 Paralympics
Nissan engineer Anna Nicholson has spoken of her pride at taking part in the Paralymics in her company’s homeland.
And while describing missing out on a medal place by a short distance as ‘frustrating’, she said she was “over the moon” at being part of the event.
Anna said: “I am happy to have thrown over eight metres and to have a Season’s Best but it is frustrating to be just a few centimetres off the medal places.
“I was so focused when I was competing that I didn’t really notice what was going on in the rest of the stadium – my mind was totally on what I had to do.
“But I was just over the moon to be there, competing. It is all a little surreal and it still hasn’t sunk in. For the first few days my teammates and I had to keep pinching ourselves to check it was all real.”
After her appearance at the Games, Anna is buzzing from time in Tokyo – but looking forward to getting back to her workmates.
“It has been an amazing experience and I am so proud to have represented Paralympic GB,” she said.
“I’m really looking forward to getting back and seeing the team again. It has been so odd being in the bubble for the past couple of weeks. I’ve had lots of lovely messages from people, so it will be great to see everyone again.”
Anna left for Japan on Tuesday, August 17, and will remain there for the duration of the games.
Her event took place on Tuesday, September 2, at 9.30am Japanese time, but 1.30am UK time.
Alan Johnson, vice president – manufacturing, at Nissan’s Sunderland plant, paid tribute to Anna’s achievements.
“This is a fantastic achievement by an athlete who balances excellence at work with competing at an elite level,” he said.
"Anna is a role model to us all. We are all hugely proud of her and cannot wait to welcome her back to the plant next week.”
Anna first displayed her exceptional sporting talent at school and has been competing professionally since she was 15.
She has a Masters degree in Chemical Engineering and joined Nissan in 2017 as an engineering graduate in the plant’s Trim and Chassis department.
She now works on the production of the all-new Qashqai, 100% electric Nissan LEAF and Juke.
Speaking before the Games, Anna, who is originally from Carlisle, said the trip was the culmination of a decade of anticipation: “I’m incredibly proud to be selected to represent Great Britain at the Paralympic Games. It’s been my dream for the last 10 years,” she said.
“My team at Nissan have been a great support to me while I’ve been doing my training and helping me strike a great work life and training balance.
“I can’t wait to visit Japan, not just as a member of Paralympics GB but also team Nissan.”