Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson began life in Cardiff in 1969 as Carys Davina, and earned the name Tanni as a gradual modification of her original nickname ‘Tiny’, as given to her by her 2 year-old sister shortly after her birth. Tanni first began using a wheelchair at the age of 7 and after 7 years of just callipers, this must have felt like quite a jump towards an independent lifestyle.
Paralympic success for Tanni began in 1988 in Seoul with a bronze medal in the 400m. Despite then being prevented from track sports for a year due to spinal surgery, she still took the 1992 Barcelona Paralympics by storm with gold medals in the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m as well as a silver in the 4x100m relay. Coupled with multiple medals from the Paralympics in Atlanta (1996), Sydney (2000) and Athens (2004) Tanni currently holds a Paralympic record of 11 golds, 4 silvers and 1 bronze in just four Paralympic outings, not to mention 6 first place victories in the London marathon, and she never once looked back.
Tanni’s academic achievements include 13 doctorates (8 honorary), 4 honorary masters, 3 fellowships (2 honorary) and a chancellors medal. Additionally she boasts two ongoing Director positions and 2 ongoing Board Member positions as well as being a member of the House of Lords and an active member of 3 public organisations, and all this before she’s even 50. Finally Tanni continues to offer her services as a motivational speaker, demonstrating to the world how, no matter what life throws at you, you can always succeed to your full potential.