17 March 2008

Redcar's golden girl Dame Tanni Grey Thompson the UK's finest ever paralympian

Dame Carys Davina ("Tanni") Grey-Thompson DBE was born with spina bifida, and uses a wheelchair, and is considered to be one of the most successful disabled athletes in the UK.

Tanni competes in events over a wide range of distances, first competing in the 100 m at the Junior National Games for Wales in 1984. Over her career to date, she has won a total of 16 Paralympic medals, including 11 golds, held over 30 world records, and won the London Marathon six times between 1997 and 2002.

In 2000, she was awarded the Helen Rollason Award for her performance at the 2000 Summer Paralympics, and was appointed an OBE for services to sport. In 2001, she was given an honorary degree by Loughborough University, namely a Doctorate of Technology, having graduated from the university ten years earlier with an honours degree in Politics and Social Administration. Also in 2001, she was given an honorary degree by Leeds Metropolitan University. She has been named the BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year three times — in 1992, 2000 and 2004.

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