Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson, Britain’s most successful Paralympian, today announced her retirement from international competition. The 37-year-old Cardiff-born athlete – twice the winner of the SJA’s Bill McGowran Trophy and also a past winner of the UK Sport Award at the SJA’s annual sports awards (and seen here last December, presenting Joe Calzaghe with his Sportsman of the Year award on behalf of the SJA) – believes now is the right time to move on to a new challenge.
She said: “I have always said that I would wake up one day and know that I would not want to do it any more. There are other things that I want to do and if I want to be successful I need to devote more time to those things.
“I am still competing at a very high level, but as I get older things get harder and I want to retire before I fall apart.â€
She said: “Obviously my last race will be emotional, but for me it’s business as usual. I will probably be sick, but I will prepare in the same way, go through my same routine, and hopefully win.”
Dame Tanni is Britain’s best-known Paralympic athlete, having performed at world-class level since 1990 in distances ranging from 100m to the marathon.
Her 15 Paralympic medals include 11 golds, she has won the women’s wheelchair race at the London Marathon on six occasions and has broken more than 30 world records, making her achievements second to none in the disability sport arena.
In 2000 she was decorated with the OBE in honour of her services to sport, which was followed by Damehood following the Athens Games in 2004.
“I am coaching a couple of young athletes who are working towards Beijing and London. I also want to continue with my broadcasting and speaking work but would also welcome the opportunity to put something back into sport.”
For more on Tanni Grey-Thompson, click here.
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