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Beating The Odds

At the age of 17 John Amaechi was an overweight Manchester teenager who had never touched a basketball. With immense determination and a clever strategy he rose to become the first Brit to play at the top level of the American game – despite being described by one commentator as having “little innate physical talent.” He once turned down a $17m transfer offer.


Now back in the UK John has pursued a PhD in psychology, established a foundation to encourage youth activity and community cohesion, and appeared as a mentor in the BBC2’s The Speaker.

Amaechi was joined by the remarkable swimmer Marc Woods. Before losing his leg to cancer, Marc swam in local races but never achieved his full potential. Six months after surgery, he was performing faster with one leg than he ever had with two. He went on to represent Great Britain and collect twelve Paralympic medals – four of them Gold. 

Marc Woods video

LOCATION 28 Portland Place
DATE NOVEMBER 11 2009

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