Giles Long MBE is one of Britain’s most decorated Paralympians, with seven Paralympic medals in swimming (including three golds) and thirteen medals at IPC World and European Championships. He’s also the creator of LEXI, a revolutionary way of explaining the different classifications in Paralympic sport. We’re proud to provide Giles with legal advice and support.
A keen swimmer from a young age, he dreamt of competing at the Olympics. But he was forced to change his goal when he was diagnosed with a form of bone cancer in his arm. Giles underwent chemotherapy that meant he lost the use of his right shoulder, although his elbow and hand still worked.
He didn’t let this stop him swimming, however. Giles found the goal-setting and team-building associated with competitive swimming ‘exhilarating’, and continued his dream to enter the Paralympics.
In 1993 Giles made his debut on the international swimming circuit and broke his first world record. His career hit new heights when he qualified for the 1996 Atlanta Paralympics, where he won gold in the 100m butterfly.
At the Sydney Paralympics in 2008, Giles won two more gold medals, setting a world record 100m butterfly time in the process. He went on to compete at the 2004 Athens Paralympics, where he added another medal to his collection.
Giles retired from competitive swimming in 2007 and embarked on a career in television presenting and motivational speaking, as well as publishing his autobiography in 2010.
He was one of Channel 4’s swimming experts for the 2012 Paralympic Games, and the broadcaster (along with NBC in America) was the first to use his LEXI system for explaining Paralympic classifications.
LEXI is a graphics system that illustrates the different disabilities included in each category. Using an intuitive traffic light-based colour scheme, it’s easy to understand at a glance, leaving viewers to enjoy the sporting spectacle rather than wonder if the competitors are evenly matched.
The different colours that LEXI uses to show disability are:
- Green – no impairment
- Yellow – mild impairment
- Orange – moderate impairment
- Red – severe
Learning disabilities are denoted by the colour of the figure’s head, while missing limbs are shown simply by a missing limb in the graphic. Dwarfism is represented by a smaller figure.
LEXI will be back in force for coverage of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, with new animation sequences launched in spring 2016. It’ll be on Channel 4 in the UK and on TV screens around the world.
LEXI, Lexicon Decoder & images are registered trade marks, protected by copyright and EU Community Design Right. “The para-sports gateway” is used as a trade mark. All such rights are owned by Lexicon Decoder Ltd; all rights reserved.