Olivia Breen, also known as Livvy, was born on 26th July 1996 by an emergency caesarean section. Olivia contracted a Meningitis type illness at birth which left her in the Special Care Baby Unit at Guildford Hospital for a month. She left the hospital with her twin brother Daniel but didn’t thrive and was late reaching all her milestones. She was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at aged 2. She is also hearing impaired and has some learning difficulties. Olivia always found school difficult but was always a good runner. Sports day was always a great day for Olivia as it was the one day during the year when she was better than most of her classmates at something. She joined City of Portsmouth Athletics Club when she was 13 and has been representing the club since then.
In early 2012 Olivia went to a UK Athletics event where she got a national classification to run as a disabled T38 athlete. At the end of June she made her GB debut at the European Championships in Holland where she met the world's best in her category and from which she came back with 2 bronze medals. The most exciting day of her life was 9th July when she took the call telling her she had been chosen to represent GB in her class in the 100m, 200m and 4 x 100m relay. She was the second youngest paralympian on the team.
At the Games Olivia came fifth in the final of the 100m on 1st September. The relay was on 4th September in the evening, immediately after David Weir won his second gold medal- the atmosphere in the Olympic Stadium was electric and Olivia was further inspired because she knew that 200 pupils and staff from her school, Bohunt in Liphook were in the crowd supporting her. She ran the first leg of the relay and amazingly the girls set a new British record. Her last race of the Games was the 200m on 6th September. She qualified for the final and came eighth.
In August 2013 Livvy was awarded a Sky Academy Athletic Scholarship and as a result she moved to an athletics academy in St Albans which is attached to Oaklands sixth form college and to coaches Jonas and Julie Dodoo. Since 2014 she has also been training for the long jump and she represented Wales at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow where she came fourth. Also in the summer of 2014 she represented GB at the European Championships where she won a bronze medal in the 100m and silver in the T35-8 4 x 100m relay.
In October 2015 Olivia travelled to Doha for the IPC World Championships where she came fourth in the 100m and 200m and sixth in the long jump. She also ran the first leg of the 4 x 100m relay which went on to win a gold medal and create a new world record.
In April 2016 Olivia was part of the adidas campaign launching the kit for the Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games and then in June 2016, she competed at the IPC European Championship in Grosetto, Italy where she came 7th in the 100m and 200m and 4th in the long jump. Again she ran the first leg of the 4 x 100m relay and the girls went on to win gold and break another world record.
In September 2016 Olivia competed in her second Paralympic Games in Rio. She achieved 7th place in the 100m but sadly did not qualify for the long jump final.
Olivia has now moved to Loughborough College where she is studying a level 2 Teaching Exercise and Fitness course and she is now concentrating on her long jump training with new coach Aston Moore.