7/7 terror attack survivor and GB paralympian returns to London Stadium for the first since since 2012 Paralympics
PUBLISHED: 19:00 27 September 2018
A 7/7 survivor and London 2012 paralympian spoke at the London Stadium today.
Martine Wright MBE, who lost both her legs during the terrorist attack in July 2005, was returning to the stadium for the first time since representing Great Britain at the 2012 Paralympic Games.
Martine, who now captains the sitting volleyball GB team, spoke about rebuilding her life after the bombings, and the impact of the Olympic legacy on her recovery.
“We all know bad things happen and we have no control,” she said.
“But I’ve learned that good can come out of bad. Life isn’t fair, but we have two choices – sit there and feel sorry for ourselves or say no.”
On the morning of the attack, Martine was enjoying a rare lie in, because she’d been out the night before celebrating the successful London Olympics bid.
She took a later tube than usual, and spent the journey reading about the Olympics in the paper, before the bomb went off.
“There was a white flash and I felt myself being thrown from side to side,” she said. “Suddenly it was just black.
“I didn’t remember the pain, all I could see was metal going into me. It started to get quieter, and I can only equate that to people dying around me.”
Martine spent more than a year in hospital. During that time she was given prosthetic legs and learned to walk again.
“I had to move back to my parents house, and every day I would wake up and cry all day,” she said.
“I was in a house which I couldn’t even walk or roll out of.
“I realised I had a choice – to feel sorry for myself, or pull myself together.”
The former international marketing manager went to South Africa to learn to fly planes, relearned how to ski, completed a skydive, and joined a women’s sitting volleyball team.
“I missed the drive and ambition I used to have at work,” she said.
“The sport gave me my strength and independence back.”
The team had to prove to the British Paralympic Association that they were good enough to compete at the 2012 games. In March 2012, after years of training, they found out they had been successful.
The team didn’t win any medals at the games, but were the only team ever to have formed and competed within a Paralympics or Olympics within two years.
Martine led the GB paralympians at the opening ceremony.
“People don’t like change, because a lot of the time it takes us by surprise, so it can be really hard to deal with,” she said.
“I now believe I was meant to walk round the opening ceremony and represent my country.”