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Naomi Joy Riches[1] MBE (born on 15 June 1983) is a British adaptive rower who won a bronze medal at the 2008 Summer Paralympics and a gold medal at the 2012 Summer Paralympics.

Personal life[edit]

Riches was born on 15 June 1983 in Hammersmith, London, England.[2] She attended Cannon Lane school as a child. She is registered blind and is classified for competition in the B3 category.[3][4] She competed for Harrow in the London Youth Games as a disability swimmer.[5] At the age of 12 she was a National Disabled Swimming champion.[2]

She attended the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) College in Worcester.[2] She graduated from Buckinghamshire New University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in metalwork and jewellery design.[2][6]


Riches took up rowing whilst at the RNIB College in Worcester.[2] She competes in the legs, trunks and arms adaptive mixed coxed four (LTAMix4+) event. She won gold medals in the event at the 2004, 2005 and 2006 World Rowing Championships and won silver in 2007.[7]

She was selected to represent Great Britain at the 2008 Summer Paralympics held in Beijing, China, as rowing made its debut at the Games. Competing with Alastair McKean, Vicki Hansford, and James Morgan, along with cox Alan Sherman she won a bronze medal in the mixed coxed four.[3][8]

Riches won a further world title in 2009, alongside Hansford, David Smith, James Roe and cox Rhiannon Jones.[9] At the 2010 World Championships she won a silver medal competing with Smith, Roe, Ryan Chamberlain and Jones.[10] He is visually impaired.[2]

In 2011 she competed at the at World Rowing Championships held at Lake Bled, Bled, Slovenia. She won the gold medal in the LTAMix4+ event alongside crewmates Pam Relph, David Smith, James Roe and Lily van den Broecke, the cox.[2][11] They completed the one kilometre course in a time of three minutes, 27.10 seconds, finishing nearly five seconds ahead of the second placed Canadian boat. The result qualified a boat for Great Britain into the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London.[12] The crew repeated their gold medal result at the Munich World Cup event in 2012.[2]

Riches was selected along with Relph, Smith, Roe and van den Broeke, to represent Great Britain at the 2012 Summer Paralympics in the mixed coxed four event.[13] The event took place between 31 August and 2 September at Eton Dorney,[14] and the GB crew won the gold medal.

She was inducted into the London Youth Games Hall of Fame in 2012.

Riches was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to rowing.[15][16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ GRO reference: June 1983, Vol. 12, Page 1989
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Naomi Riches". British Paralympic Association. Retrieved 25 August 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Naomi's bronze disappointment". Harrow Observer. 18 September 2008. Retrieved 26 August 2012. 
  4. ^ "Riches inspired by Olympic crews". BBC Sport. 29 August 2008. Retrieved 26 August 2012. 
  5. ^ http://www.londonyouthgames.org/page.asp?section=23&sectionTitle=Hall+of+Fame Hall of Fame retrieved 2013-02-19
  6. ^ "Students row their way into the London 2012 Paralympic Games". London Higher. 28 June 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2012. 
  7. ^ "In the Spotlight: Naomi Riches". UK Sport. Retrieved 26 August 2012. 
  8. ^ "Britons in historic rowing double". BBC Sport. 11 September 2008. Retrieved 26 August 2012. 
  9. ^ Gough, Martin (29 August 2009). "Britain win two golds at Worlds". BBC Sport. Retrieved 26 August 2012. 
  10. ^ "James Roe". British Paralympic Association. Retrieved 25 August 2012. 
  11. ^ "World Rowing: GB mixed coxed four win adaptive gold". BBC Sport. 4 September 2011. Retrieved 25 August 2012. 
  12. ^ "Wham, bam thank you Pam as rower gets gold to set up London 2012 dream". The Bucks Herald. 8 September 2011. Retrieved 25 August 2012. 
  13. ^ "2012 Paralympics: GB rowing's mixed coxed four - who's who?". BBC Sport. 25 August 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2012. 
  14. ^ "Mixed Coxed Four - LTAMix4+". The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Limited. Retrieved 25 August 2012. 
  15. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 60367. p. 25. 29 December 2012.
  16. ^ [1] Cabinet Office

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205 news items


Warrington Guardian
Wed, 01 Jul 2015 02:24:28 -0700

But win Glover did, receiving her medal from London 2012 Paralympic gold medallist Naomi Riches. “It was quite embarrassing in a way as the prize giving is quite a big deal,” laughed Sinnott. “You're supposed to have a blazer but we hadn't expected to ...
Slough and Windsor Observer
Mon, 06 Jul 2015 09:11:26 -0700

Pupils at St Joseph's Catholic High School in Slough were visited by Naomi Riches on Tuesday last week. The gold medallist – who is registered blind – talked about her life, the challenges she has faced, working as a team in the Great Britain mixed ...

Maidenhead Advertiser

British Cycling
Mon, 01 Sep 2014 03:18:45 -0700

Paralympic gold medallist Naomi Riches didn't quite know what to expect when she entered her first cyclosportive at the weekend. “It was quite a journey, got through two pilots but only managed 80 miles. Next year I'll manage the 100!”, she wrote on ...

BBC News

BBC News
Thu, 14 Nov 2013 03:21:45 -0800

Reigning Paralympic and six-time world champion Naomi Riches MBE has announced her retirement from rowing. Riches goes out on a high after winning her sixth world title at the 2013 Championships in Chungju, Korea in August in the mixed coxed fours.
Huffington Post
Sat, 13 Oct 2012 10:20:24 -0700

In the lawsuit, Naomi Riches alleged that Anthony "is an Illuminati actress" who made threats to kill her and who caused her "severe psychological damage." She also claimed that Anthony was "in cahoots" with both TV personality Nancy Grace and the U.S. ...


Fri, 08 Nov 2013 05:01:46 -0800

An 'inspirational' visit from a local hero showed young students what can be accomplished against all the odds. Paralympian gold medallist and former Cannon Lane Primary School pupil Naomi Riches came to visit children at her old school to show off her ...
Evening Standard
Thu, 30 Aug 2012 07:27:39 -0700

Naomi Riches hopes her mixed adaptive coxed crew will be the first to hear that incredible noise as they pass the grandstand, as planned leading their final on Sunday. “David spoke to us about how the other athletes had been starting to call it The ...


Mon, 11 Nov 2013 03:20:37 -0800

Paralympian gold medallist Naomi Riches MBE visited the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH) in Brockley Hill, Stanmore, to visit children and boost the hospital's campaign to fund a new children's ward. Naomi told the Observer: "It was really ...

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