Disabled Legend-Dame Tanni Grey Thompson

Tanni Grey Thompson

Born in Cardiff in 1969, Tanni was educated at St. Cyres Comprehensive School and subsequently obtained an honours degree at Loughborough University. Tanni now lives in Redcar with her husband, Dr. Ian Thompson and their daughter Carys, who was born in February 2002.

Tanni is Britain’s best-known Paralympic athlete, having performed at world-class level for the past 14 years, in distances ranging from 100m to the marathon. Tanni’s career has taken her around the world to every major international event. Her 13 Paralympic Medals, 6 Gold Medals in the London Marathon and her comprehensive set of British and World Records make her achievements 2nd to none in the disability sport arena.

Tanni has received numerous accolades and awards in recognition of her Paralympic and sporting achievements, awarded 3rd place in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2000, becoming BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year and ’Welsh Woman of the Year’. The year 2000 culminated in Tanni being decorated with the OBE in the Millennium New Years Honours List in honour of her services to sport.

Tanni’s most prestigious accolade has been her election to the Laureus World Sports Academy alongside such sporting legends as Pele, Jack Nicklaus, Michael Jordan, Boris Becker, Ed Moses and Alberto Tomba, placing her firmly alongside the world’s leading sporting celebrities.

Tanni has been voted 1 of only 4 British sportswomen to appear in the book ’50 British Sporting Greats’ published by Cassell’s in October 2002, highlighting the high esteem that Tanni is held in the eye of the British public.

In a poll undertaken by “Ouch” the BBC’s disability website during January 2003, Tanni was voted the 3rd Greatest Briton of All Time behind Professor Stephen Hawkins and the late rock star Ian Dury. Other distinguished names in the poll included World War 2 hero Douglas Barder, Sir Winston Churchill, Admiral Lord Nelson and Lord Byron. In 2002 Tanni received ‘The Walpole Best British Sporting Achievement Award’ and ‘The Commonwealth Games Sports Award for Best Female Disabled Athlete’.

Tanni has continued to expand her broadcasting and media experiences, writing articles for several leading newspapers including the Daily Mail and the Guardian and has featured in various household magazines such as ‘Best’ and ‘Good Housekeeping’. Always in constant demand by radio, Tanni has made numerous guest appearances on Radio Four, Radio Five Live and more recently BBC Manchester 2002, the dedicated radio station in the lead up to the Commonwealth Games.

A much loved and respected individual both on and off the track, Tanni has appeared on many high profile media programmes such as: BBC Question Time; The Weakest Link; Grandstand; A Question of Sport; Countryside; It’s My Funeral; My Favourite Hymns; CBBC’s Blue Peter; They Think It’s All Over and various lifestyle programmes such as ‘Gloria Hunniford’ and GMTV. More recently, Tanni has been developing a presenter’s role by co-hosting BBC Wales X-Ray Programme, a watchdog programme addressing issues beyond the scene of sport.

Tanni is articulate and well informed; she is an exceptional conference and motivational speaker and can tailor presentations to the individual needs of clients. She is able to interact with a wide range of people, from young school children to seasoned corporate executives such as Lloyds TSB, Accenture and Price Waterhouse.

Tanni plays an active role within sports administration, which has included the membership of the United Kingdom Sports Council, the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games Organising Council Association and patronage of the British Sports Trust.


Paralympic Achievements

Sydney 2000

100m Gold Medal
200m Gold Medal
400m Gold Medal
800m Gold Medal

Atlanta 1996

100m Silver Medal
200m Silver Medal World Record
400m Silver Medal
800m Gold Medal World Record

Barcelona 1992

100m Gold Medal World Record
200m Gold Medal
400m Gold Medal World Record
800m Gold Medal World Record

Seoul 1988

100m 4th place
400m Bronze Medal

Marathon Achievements:

London Marathon 2003

Silver Medal

London Marathon 2001

Gold Medal personal best time: 2 Hours 20 minutes

London Marathon 2000

Gold Medal

Lake Sempach Marathon 2002

6th place Personal best time: 2 Hours, 04 Mins, 54 Secs.

London Marathon 1999

Silver Medal

Great North Run

Gold Medal

London Marathon 1998

Silver Medal

Lake Sempach Marathon Personal best time:

London Marathon 1997

Gold Medal

London Marathon 1996

Silver Medal

London Marathon 1994

Gold Medal

London Marathon 1993

Gold Medal

London Marathon 1992

Bronze Medal

London Marathon

Gold Medal

Lake Sempach Marathon

First British woman to finish in under 2 hours.

Other Sporting Achievements:


Olympic Exhibition Event, Sydney 800m 4th Place


European 800m Exhibition Event 800m Gold Medal Oz Day 10km 10km Gold Medal


British Wheelchair Racing Association Road Racing Grand Prix Winner


World Championship Exhibition Event, Sweden 800m 4th place


World Athletics Championships, Berlin 100m Gold Medal
200m Gold Medal (WR)
400m Gold Medal (WR)
800m Gold Medal
10,000m Bronze Medal
European Championships Exhibition, Helsinki 800m Bronze Medal


World Championships Exhibition, Stuttgart, 800m Bronze Medal
Swiss National Games 100m Gold Medal (WR)
200m Gold Medal (WR)


Olympic Exhibition Event, Barcelona 800m Gold Medal (WR)
Toronto Challenge, Canada 100m World Record
200m World Record
400m World Record
800m World Record Melbourne International Track Meet
200m World Record


World Wheelchair Games, Stoke Mandeville
100m Gold Medal
200m Gold Medal
400m Silver Medal


World Championships, Assen, Holland
100m Silver Medal
200m Silver Medal
400m Bronze Medal
British Records Held
100m 17.08


200m 29.77


Paralympic Games 400m 56.28


800m 1.53.35

1500m 3.35.15

Jona, Switzerland:
5000m 12.32.61
10,000m 25.39.06

Kirby, England:
10km road 24.03


Mobile, California, USA:

Half Marathon 52.17
Great North Run

Tanni also holds a number of Honorary Fellowships, Masters and Doctorates from various Universities. She is also Patron to a large number of organisations including British Sport Trust and Youth Sport Trust.Institute of the United Kingdom, and has been on the board of many influential sports organisations including Sports Council for Wales and National Disability Council.

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