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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 September, 2004, 22:34 GMT 23:34 UK
Lewis sparks double celebration
By Elizabeth Hudson
BBC Sport in Athens

Of all of her birthdays, British swimmer Nyree Lewis will have special memories of her 24th on Tuesday.

Not only did Lewis receive, amongst other things, a pair of sunglasses and some cuddly toys, she also won a Paralympic gold medal in the women's S6 100m backstroke.

And to cap it all off, partner Sascha Kindred won his second gold of the Games with success in the men's SB7 breaststroke.

"Winning the medal was my priority and once I got that sorted out I could shout for Sascha and then enjoy my birthday," Lewis said.

"It has been the best birthday ever."

Even the rest of the British team, with the female members dressed in sparkling Union Jack bikini tops, got in on the act.

Sascha Kindred receives his second gold medal in Athens
Kindred receives his second gold medal in Athens
A rousing rendition of "Happy Birthday" greeted Lewis after she had proudly received her gold medal.

Having events on the same day meant the couple barely got to see each other but they were both able to cheer each other on.

"Hopefully we will be able to spend some time together later," said Kindred, who was cheered on by a noisy group of family and friends.

"But we both have more races to come so we will have to hold off on the celebrations."

Among Kindred's fans was proud mum Beatrice and twin brother Timo, who, along with four of his friends, had t-shirts spelling out the name Sascha.

We are all thrilled to bits with what he has achieved and to have Nyree win a gold on her birthday is very special
Sascha's mum
Beatrice Kindred
The quintet really made their presence felt and wore swimming caps during the two big races.

"We could never miss out on something like this," said Beatrice, who admitted her voice was showing signs of wear and tear after cheering on both Sascha and Nyree to victory.

"I also went to Atlanta and we always sit in the same place near the finish line and Sascha knows where we are every time.

"We are all thrilled to bits with what he has achieved and to have Nyree win a gold on her birthday is very special as well.

"Winning the individual medley on Sunday was a great achievement but this is the medal that he really wanted.

Timo added: "I know how important it is for him to succeed and although it has been a little nerve-wracking sitting in the stands, it has been absolutely fantastic."

Interview: Nyreee Lewis and Sascha Kindred

Paralympic Games 2004



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