Tanni, Baroness Grey-Thompson DBE - A Few Wise Words

Tanni, Baroness Grey-Thompson DBE

As one of the most successful British athletes of all time, Tanni Grey-Thompson won a career total of eleven gold medals, four silvers and a bronze across five Paralympic Games, together with five gold medals in the World Championships. During her athletics career, she was a dominant force in wheelchair racing for the 100, 200, 400 and 800 metre disciplines.

Tanni was the first woman to break the 60 second barrier over 400 metres, at the Barcelona Paralympics in 1992, and has set no fewer than thirty individual world records. She also won the London Wheelchair Marathon six times. Since her retirement from athletics, she has been a tireless campaigner for disability rights and is now an active member of the House of Lords. During her career, she has accumulated numerous accolades, titles and awards, and is now a much sought-after public speaker, TV presenter and sports commentator.

I was certainly good at making myself train hard, but I was also good at pushing myself to train for the things I didn’t like doing. Because in reality, the things you don’t like doing are usually the things that you’re not so good at and you need to improve.

If I had the power to change one thing, it would be to see all young disabled people assume naturally, and by default, that they have the right to pursue anything that any non-disabled person can do.

Success is often about how you deal with failure. When something goes seriously wrong, you can either give up or you can dig deep, recover your self-belief and focus once more upon your goal. It’s all about your attitude and being positive, even when everything sometimes seems stacked against you.

Parents must spend time with their kids and talk to them. Have proper conversations. Don’t just sit them in front of the screen because it’s convenient. Have dinner together and talk. Communicating with your children and getting them involved is one of the most valuable things you can do.

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