Britain’s best known Paralympian, Tanni amassed 11 gold medals in 5 consecutive Games. She also won 6 London Marathons and achieved a total of 34 world records. Since retiring from competitive sport Tanni has taken an active role in the Lords, particularly on disability. She believes that disabled people still face barriers that need to be removed, and calls for more genuine engagement rather than political rhetoric: “Public perceptions are changing.”
Tanni Grey-Thompson rose to become Britain’s most successful Paralymic athlete and its most successful female Paralympian (a title she held for over a decade). In all she collected 11 gold medals, held 30 world records and won the wheelchair section of the London Marathon on six consecutive occasions.
Tanni was selected for her first World Wheelchair Games at the age of 18. She won her first Paralympic medal at Seoul, before spinal surgery forced her to take a year away from the track. She stormed back to victory at Barcelona - taking gold at 100, 200, 400 and 800 metres.
In her presentations, Tanni talks about growing up with spina bifida and her decision to become an athlete. She describes the rigourous training regime, the diet and equipment she needed, the choices she had to make and the sheer joy of victory. As with any endeavour, she explains that her success was down to a mixture of planning, teamwork, determination and ambition.
Tanni is a member of the Sports Council, UK Athletics and the Youth Sports Trust. She also sits on the board of the London Marathon and Transport for London, and has become an active crossbencher in the House of Lords. She continues to work tirelessly in the areas of disability rights, welfare and sport, and is a regular commentator in print and broadcast media.
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JLA Speakers Breakfast
Just Before the 2012 Olympics