Exeter racecourse is welcoming local olympians, paralympians and games staff and volunteers to attend its first meet of the season (Thursday 11 October) to say thank you for their contributions to London 2012.
Just one of the great names making an appearance at the South West Athletes Celebration Day is eventing legend Mary King, who won team silver in what was her sixth consecutive games. She will also have a race run in her name on the day.
“It’s a great honour to have a race named after me and it’s definitely a first,” said Mary. “The racecourse is such an iconic part of the Devonshire landscape, and one that many visitors to the county know. To be associated with it is incredible and I’m very much looking forward to my day at the races.”
Other athletes in attendance include dressage Paralypian Deb Criddle, who won individual grade III silver, team gold and individual freestyle silver with LJT Akilles; blind footballer Keryn Seal; pistol shooter Gorgs Giekie; butterfly swimmer Anthony James; and skeet team member Rory Warlow.
The so-called Games Makers – people who worked at the games and helped make them happen – will be given free entry on the day.
Sarah Yeoman, who volunteered at Greenwich Park said: “It’s fantastic that Exeter is doing this. We’re all incredibly proud to have been Games Makers and coming racing together is another opportunity to relive those moments.”
As well as the celebration day there will be a dressage display by ex-jockey Ed Chanin who is a squad member of the world class para equestrian development programme. Ed was also one of two riders on the Paralympic Inspiration Programme, which allowed athletes to experience the London Paralympic Games in preparation for Rio in 2016.
Joining Ed will be another former jockey Sarah Gaisford, who was paralysed in a fall at Exeter in 2008. Sarah also has her sights set on the next Olympics, but as a tennis player.
“Playing sport has turned my life around following my accident” she said. "It has given me so much focus and to be able to share this at Exeter, and tell people how sport can change their lives is fantastic.
Tickets start at £13 if booked in advance. Children aged 17 and under attend free.