Lifelong Arsenal fan David Weir has won two gold medals at the London 2012 Paralympic Games following stunning displays in the 1500m T54 and the 5000m T54.
We spoke to him back in 2008 following his incredible success at the Beijing Games, where he won two golds, a silver and a bronze medal. Read on for an extract from our interview in the Official Matchday Programme.
Take us through your Arsenal-supporting history, David. We gather you are a lifelong fan?
Yes, I've been a supporter since the age of four - the son of one of my mum's friends was an Arsenal fan so it rubbed off on me! I've followed the Club ever since, even though all my mates are Chelsea fans! I'm from near Croydon, so while you do see a few Gooners around, there are a lot of Chelsea and Palace supporters in the area.
Who were your early heroes?
The earliest I can really remember is Alan Smith - along with the others of that generation in the late 1980s. Anders Limpar was another that stuck in my mind, but in the 1980s the team that I really remember a lot of was Liverpool, simply because they won everything and I hated them for it! A little later on, the Cup Winners' Cup final was an early success I have particularly good recollections of.
For great memories you can't beat the Arsène Wenger era though. The season when we went unbeaten was just unforgettable, and I don't think it will be done again for a long, long time. That was just the perfect side in my view. And I'll always remember Ray Parlour's goal in the 2002 FA Cup final, when Tim Lovejoy said he'd never score from there just before he hit a 30-yarder into the top corner. Little things like that live on in the mind!
Did you get to Highbury very often?
Not that much - it was quite difficult to get tickets at the time because the disabled section was very small, so it would get sold out a long time in advance. That is what is so good about the Emirates - there are different places where disabled fans can choose to sit. When you go to older grounds there's generally just the one area, and probably one that doesn't have the best view. At the Emirates, you are dotted everywhere, which is far better.
Let's talk about your racing career - can you tell us a bit about your back story?
I started training and racing when I was about eight years old, carried it on and then made it to Atlanta in 1996 for my first Paralympics. I reached the 100m final and didn't win a medal, but it was a good achievement at a young age. Then I took a little break - I'd been training solidly from an early age and needed a bit of a rest, so I missed the Sydney Paralympics before picking things back up. From then I seemed to improve every year, making more finals and starting to win medals.
Going to the Athens Paralympics in 2004 was a big bonus - I won medals in the 100m and 200m and it gave me the confidence to train harder when I got back. From then on I got quicker and quicker. Then my big break probably came in 2006 when I won the London Marathon for the second time and broke two world records. After that I really started progressing in every distance that I was doing.
And then on to your incredible achievements in Beijing. How did you find the occasion, and the vast Bird's Nest stadium?
It's probably the best stadium I've ever raced in, or seen, in my life. The loudness, the structure, the facilities - everything was just perfect. The atmosphere was electric, but it didn't scare you when you went on to the track, it helped you really. Even if you weren't Chinese it still spurred you on and people who didn't even know you would be shouting your name. The people over there really got into the Paralympics - they were really focused, knew about the sport and the whole experience was great.