Ade Adepitan

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After being afflicted with polio as a youngster, Ade refused to let disability get in the way of his love for sport and became ‘the Michael Jordan of wheelchair basketball.’ He represented GB at the European and World Championships, and won Paralympic bronze. He has since covered climate change in Africa, trekked through rainforests and hauled himself to the top of a 5,000ft volcano. Ade describes how he realised his condition wasn’t a big obstacle, and how we can all set our own boundaries.


After being struck with polio as a youngster, Ade Adepitan went on to compete on an international level. Known as ‘The Michael Jordan of wheelchair basketball,’ he represented Great Britain at the European and World Championships and the Sydney Olympics, and won bronze in Athens.

Ade has since established a successful media career, presenting a range of sport, entertainment and factual programmes and ranging from children's television to travel shows to hard-hitting documentaries. One of his first TV projects saw him take part in the documentary series Beyond Boundaries, in which he trekked through rainforests, deserts, rivers and mountains in Nicaragua. In one episode he pulled himself to the summit of a 5000ft volcano - without his wheelchair. Ade has gone on to work as a presenter, reporter and film maker for the BBC and Channel 4, in particular their Unreported World series where he's investigated everything from the benefits system to doping in sport. In his BBC series Africa with Ade Adepitan he explored the changing nature of the continent and in Ade on the Frontline he met the people and places around the globe who have been directly affected by climate change. He's also been a key part of Channel 4's pioneering Paralympics coverage, a reporter on The One Show, and is a regular guest on shows from The Last Leg to QI to celebrity editions of Pointless and The Chase.

In presentations Ade describes how a couple of physiotherapists spotted him in a supermarket and asked if he’d like to go to the Junior Wheelchair Games. Ade was so inspired by the players he met that the wheelchair ceased to be an obstacle to sport and became an exciting new opportunity. He also talks about being motivated by his parents’ ambition in bringing him to England and opening up new possibilities. It's the foundation to his attitude that barriers are usually there to be taken down, a message he delivers with characteristic energy and positivity.

Ade made an early television appearance in the famous BBC One network idents featuring synchronised wheelchair users. He has also turned his talents to acting, and is the author of a series of children's books featuring Cyborg Cat.


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