Newbury's Jonathan Broom-Edwards appointed an MBE
Jonathan Broom-Edwards, a former Clere School pupil, described picking up his MBE as “a bit of a shock – but a fantastic surprise”.
Broom-Edwards, who competes in the T44 and T64 high jump, is no stranger to medals – he won gold at both the World Championships and Paralympics.
He was appointed an MBE in the New Year’s Honours for his services to athletics and collected his medal from Prince William earlier this month.
Broom-Edwards was born with a condition called Talipes Equinovarus – a form of clubbed foot – and got into high jumping because of a passion for basketball.
He said: “Basketball was my favoured sport growing up.
“Because of the long shorts and big boots, when I was younger it was a way for me to hide my skinny leg.
“I was one of the smaller guys and I tried to train myself to jump higher than my opponents and to dunk the ball.”
Broom-Edwards made the switch from the court to the athletics arena when he realised he was eligible for Paralympic competitions.
“It never dawned on me that I could be a Paralympian,” he said.
“The more I realised my own potential, the more I put into the sport.”
He won a silver medal at the Doha World Championships in 2015 and followed that up with another silver at the 2016 Rio Paralympics.
After another silver medal at the 2017 London World Championships, disaster struck – a ruptured Achilles meant Broom-Edwards spent 18 months on the treatment table.
In 2016, Broom-Edwards had started to focus on the mental side of competition – he studied meditation and mindfulness – so he was well prepared to overcome his time on the sidelines and the Covid pandemic that followed.
He said: “I had other things outside sport to focus on.
“It was extremely challenging, every time I had some form of pain or tension in my leg I was worried about my Achilles, but I was able to focus on the end goal.
“Sport is won and lost in the mind – it’s about how you react to things going wrong, that’s what drives you towards success.”
At the Tokyo Paralympics, Broom-Edwards had to train in isolation and without his coach, Graham Ravenscroft – but he didn’t let that stop him.
“The stars aligned and I put in a lifetime best performance in the worst conditions possible,” he said.
In the pouring rain, he cleared 2.07m on his final attempt and then 2.10m to become Paralympic champion.
Broom-Edwards admits he doesn't "have much time for a social life."
On top of his athletic exploits, he works as a motivational speaker, sports ambassador and massage therapist.
Nowadays, Broom-Edwards wears his “disability as armour” – and he’s inspiring others to do the same.