From plastic model to role model: How Barbie helped turn Hannah Cockroft into a Paralympic superstar

It's often a parent, athlete, film star or teacher who has the biggest influence on a child's future.

But for Halifax's Paralympic wheelchair sprinter it was her Barbie doll.

When she was four Hannah didn't want to accept her disability. Her wheelchair was a symbol of the fact she was different to most other girls her age.

But when she was given her doll complete with miniature wheelchair it proved a seminal moment.

Hannah has since become one of the country's most decorated Paralympians of all time.

She won three golds at London 2012 and a further two in Rio four years later.

Hannah Cockroft with one of her two gold medals at the Rio Paralympics in 2016 Credit: PA

Now 28, she's preparing for her third Games and has legendary Canadian wheelchair sprinter Chantal Petitclerc's record of 15 golds in her sights.

The uncertainty over whether the Games in Tokyo will actually take place hasn't helped Hannah's preparations.

Lockdown has also played havoc with her training schedule. She, like many would-be Olympians and Paralympians, has had to be creative.

It was once a plastic doll that proved Hannah's inspiration, now she's the role model for the next generation.