Paralympic Goal Achievement – Martine’s Bum Deal!

Here’s a picture of Martine Wright, playing for Great Britain in the volleyball. I’ve written about the volleyball before, so what’s different this time..?

"goal achievement" "the great gordino"

click for Martine\’s Paralympic GB profile

Well, Martine is wearing number 7 on her shirt, which is relevant to her story, and by literally looking at the bigger picture you can get to the ‘bottom’ of her story.
"the great gordino"

Go back 7 years to July 6th 2005, and London was awarded the 2012 Olympics.

It was a surprise because Paris had been the favourite, and the decision was met with a mixture of excitement and cynicism.


Martine decided to go for a few drinks with her friends. She woke up 10 minutes later for work the next morning and found herself running for the underground train. Little did she know that would be the last time she would ever use those legs.


She took her seat and was reading about the Olympics in the paper when a suicide bomber sitting a few feet away detonated his bomb. She says she remembered a blinding flash of white, and then being hurled around from side to side.


She woke up to see huge swathes of metal in her legs, and as the lights dimmed so did the noise of other passengers, which Martine later realised was because they had died.


She remembers seeing a carriage door open after an age, and a woman approach. The woman was off duty police officer, Liz Kenworthy, and it was only the tourniquet that Kenworthy applied which saved Martine’s life.


One of the last survivors to be pulled from the wreckage, she was in a coma for a week. She was so badly injured that her relatives who were trying to find her did not recognise her. Martine woke up to find her legs had gone, and she spent the next year in hospital.


She said she had the choice between giving up and never walking again, or deciding to get used to her prosthetic legs and making a new life for herself. She says it was as much a mental challenge as a physical one, and you can imagine why.


She married her boyfriend, learnt to fly, learnt to ski, had a child, and when she was asked to go for a Paralympic sport try out day, she went along and fell in love with sitting volleyball.


It used to be called ‘bum ball’, and as the name suggest, it’s volleyball played sitting on the floor. Martine joined a club, and when she tried for the GB team she was thrilled to get into the squad.


Much like the standing game, the GB team is a whole new venture developed because the Games were coming to London. The Brits lost all three group matches, and didn’t progress any further.


So, a waste of time, right?

Er, hardly.


The tale of goal setting and hard work is not new in sport, it’s why I write about sport so much. The same lessons apply to Martine, with 25 hours week on the court, but her story has the extra layers of overcoming the physical challenges and mental traumas of surviving something like the 7/7 bombings.


She didn’t feel sorry for herself after losing both legs, and says she has done things she never would have done otherwise.


She chose to wear the number 7 shirt, with London 2012 coming 7 years after the 7/7 bombings which changed her life.


Look to your own problems, your own challenges, your own barriers to your goals. Then think of Martine Wright playing for her country in the Paralympics and ask if your problems aren’t as bad as you thought they were?


Do let me know what you think – leave a comment, or share, like, tweet etc on facebook and so on.


‘Til Next Time,
Health & happiness,
P.S. You can grab my motivational book here ‘Transform Your Life in 21 Days!’
P.P.S. If you fancy reading more of my Olympic articles, just type Olympics into the search box at the top right of the page, and they’ll all come up!




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  • That, sir, is an excellent post and very motivational. Thank you for sharing this. My mountain feels like nothing now. I am humbled for having ever complained, and realize the only thing holding me back is me.

    • Thanks Donald,
      I found the Olympics massively inspiring, and am finding the Paralympics even more so, because of all the different reasons that the athletes find themselves there. Thanks for commenting, best wishes Gordon

  • This is a really inspiring story. I’ve seen Martine interviewed on telly but I enjoyed your telling of it and learned some new details. I am finding that my experience of the Paralympics is changing day by day and I hope everyone else watching the Games is being as inspired as I am. Really looking forward to going to the swimming on Saturday. You only have to watch a little to realise we really can do anything we want to. Thanks.

    • Thanks Harriet. I am finding it to be probably more inspiring than the Olympics, and that’s saying something considering all the content I wrote about that. I’m so pleased I decided to wait for any Paralympic inspiration before compiling it all into a book. Very jealous about you going, I couldn’t get tickets! It was shame C4 seemed to have decided to show nothing of the GB women sitting volleyball, I have asked then why as I would have loved to watch it! Cheers, Gordon

    • I see your point.
      I’m not sure Martine would view it as ‘lucky’ either, but I do like the way she chooses to wear it to remind herself of where she is, that the incident has led her to do so many things she never would have done otherwise.
      Cheers, Gordon

  • Wow, I am lost for words. A beautifully written, inspirational story that gave me goosebumps. I have to admit I cried a little also. I feel motivated and appreciative right now so thank you for sharing this story.

    • Thanks Kama! When I saw a feature and interview with her, I got the goosebumps and the tears too. Pure inspiration, and just one of the multitude on display at the Games. I was so disappointed our broadcaster then decided to not show any of the matches.
      Regards, Gordon