10 Paralympic Speakers With Inspirational Stories to Tell

Chris Tompkins Official Author Picture
Senior Keynote Speaker & Entertainment Manager
7 minutes to read
Olympic torch

Paralympians are different types of athletes, with some form of disability each one exhibits the determination, bravery and hard work needed to win Gold. Each athlete has their own tale to tell, so take a look at our list of Paralympic speakers whose inspirational stories will motivate you to make the most of the opportunities you have. Paralympians are often booked for Disability Pride Month events, where they share their empowering stories of triumph in the face of adversity. 


What is Disability Pride Month?

Every July, Disability Pride Month celebrates the diverse abilities and achievements of people with disabilities. It serves as a platform to raise awareness, promote inclusivity, and challenge societal stigmas and misconceptions surrounding disability.

By embracing Disability Pride Month, businesses can demonstrate their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, fostering a culture where individuals with disabilities are given equal opportunities to succeed. Often intersected with LGBT+ Pride Month, this annual event encourages businesses to examine their policies and practices to ensure accessibility, accommodation, and equal opportunities for all employees.

Source: Inclusive Employers

How do I book a Paralympic speaker?

The easiest way to hire a Paralympic speaker is through a booking agency. Our team of experienced and professional booking agents are on-hand to source and hire the very best speakers for your specific event, based on your requirements. To get started, contact The Motivational Speakers Agency and tell our representative about your event. We will then manage the booking process, leaving you to enjoy your event. 

Who are the best Paralympic speakers available to book?

The best Paralympic speakers to book for both conferences and Disability Pride Month events are listed right here on our website. In this blog post, we have selected the most popular speakers available to book, making it easier than ever to find the best speaker for your event. 

1. Martine Wright

Martine Wright's life took a dramatic turn during the 2005 London bombings, and her extraordinary story of survival has since inspired audiences worldwide. As a double amputee, she embarked on a remarkable journey of rehabilitation and transformation to ultimately be named Sports Personality of the Year.

Through her captivating speeches, Martine shares her experiences, highlighting the power of optimism, adaptability, and self-belief in overcoming immense challenges. She emphasises the importance of seizing opportunities, to encourage individuals to find their inner strength and unlock their full potential. 

2. Tanni Grey-Thompson

Tanni Grey-Thompson is a legendary athlete whose sporting career is nothing short of remarkable. Throughout her illustrious career, she won a total of 11 Gold medals at the Paralympic Games, including multiple victories in the 100m, 200m, 400m, and 800m events. Tanni's exceptional talent and unwavering determination made her a force to be reckoned with on the track. 

Beyond her Paralympic triumphs, Tanni also excelled in road racing, winning the London Marathon six times. Her enduring legacy extends beyond her athletic prowess, as she continues to inspire others through her motivational speaking engagements, championing inclusivity and encouraging individuals to overcome obstacles.

3. Lord Chris Holmes

As a Paralympic swimmer, Lord Chris Holmes made a significant impact in the pool, amassing an impressive collection of nine Gold medals. Chris competed in a range of swimming events, including freestyle, butterfly, and backstroke, showcasing his versatility and skill in the water. His dedication and relentless pursuit of excellence led to multiple world records and a career that spanned four Paralympic Games.

Chris has also played a pivotal role in shaping the Paralympic movement, serving as a board member for various organizations and advocating for inclusivity and equality in sports. As a motivational speaker, he teaches audiences the power of determination and resilience in achieving greatness.

4. Ian Rose

Ian Rose rose to prominence in the sporting world as the Judo World Champion in 1995. Despite facing adversity when he lost his left eye and a significant portion of his sight due to eye cancer, his unwavering determination and resilience propelled him to remarkable heights. Ian proudly represented his country in five Paralympic Games and secured the title of European Judo Champion four times.

Following several injuries, Ian emerged as a highly regarded coach and motivational speaker. With a focus on empowering audiences, he encourages personal growth, progress, and success. He caters to the business industry, offering insights on topics such as resilience, confidence, stress management, and peak performance. 

5. Liz Johnson

Liz Johnson's Paralympic journey is a shining example of her drive and determination. Throughout her career, she proudly represented her nation on the grandest stage, leaving an impact on swimming worldwide. Liz's remarkable achievements as a swimmer reflect her knowledge of resilience and high performance.

Liz's remarkable achievements include winning three Paralympic medals, including a Gold medal in the 100m breaststroke event at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games. Her remarkable journey stands as a testament to the power of perseverance and determination in the face of adversity, topics she discusses as a speaker.

6. David Weir

Due to a Congenital Spinal Cord Transection, David Weir CBE is unable to use his legs - but that hasn’t stopped him from dominating the world of athletics. When interviewed, the motivational speaker described the Paralympics as a celebration of “great athletes and great sporting events [...] We’re superhumans and phenomenal athletes." 

After training for twelve years, David won Gold in the 800m, after which he stated, "it is the most amazing feeling." Showing no signs of slowing down, David went on to win Gold. During two more Paralympic events, in 2012 and 2016, David didn’t just defend his titles but won four more Gold medals for his country.

7. Mark Colbourne MBE

After he was forced into an emergency landing while paragliding, falling 35 feet in 2009, Mark Colbourne’s broken back changed his life forever. Though his accident left him needing assistance to walk, it also sealed his fate as one of the best Para-cyclists ever to compete for Great Britain. Mark earned his first world title in 2012, bringing home a Gold medal at the UCI Para-Cycling Track World Championships.

In the same year, he was selected for the GB Paralympic cycling team, resulting in Mark winning Britain’s first medal when we took home silver in the C1-3 1 km time trial. As a testament to his cycling success, Mark was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 2013. Mark is a symbol of determination, proving that when tragedy strikes there is always hope.

8. Kelly Gallagher MBE

Despite being visually impaired, Kelly Gallagher is living proof that no matter what may stand in your way, success is achievable. Despite suffering from Oculocutaneous Albinism, Kelly became the first GB Winter Paralympian to win a Gold medal for her country, a great victory for the downhill skier. The amount of bravery and trust required for Kelly to compete is astounding, as she hurtles down the slopes at nearly 90 miles an hour.

As one of seven skiers for GB, Kelly became the first athlete from Northern Ireland to compete in the Winter Olympics. During this event, Kelly made the pinnacle decision to team up with Charlotte Evans MBE as her sight guide. Kelly was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire for her commitment to athletes with a visual impairment. 

9. Charlotte Evans MBE

When fate threw Charlotte Evans MBE a curveball, she turned a life-changing accident into an opportunity for success. Whilst competing at the British Championships, Charlotte was forced into retirement after a severe injury snapped her ligament. She turned her talents to coaching, qualifying as a trainer before becoming a sighted guide.

Outside of her role as a coach, Charlotte has also embarked on her own adventures. In 2016, the young athlete took part in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. Described as one of the biggest challenges in the world, the voyage consists of a seven-week gruelling race across the ocean, spanning 40,000 nautical miles. Charlotte is a symbol of what we can achieve when we overcome our fears and value the twists and turns in life.

10. Richard Whitehead

Due to a congenital condition, Richard Whitehead was born without any legs, but that hasn’t stopped him from breaking records. Rather than limiting himself to one discipline, Richard has broken records as a marathon runner and as a sprinter and is the current Paralympic and World Champion in the T42 200m. When people call him an inspiration, Richard replied that he is simply an athlete who was allowed to run.

Richard has run more than twenty marathons since 2004, even competing in the 2006 Winter Paralympic Games in sledge hockey. A man of many skills, he became the first leg amputee of any kind to break the three-hour mark for a marathon in 2009. Since competing at the Paralympics, Richard won Gold at the 2012 London Games.

Book a Paralympian for Your Event

To book any of the Sports speakers mentioned in this post, please contact our booking agent, The Motivational Speakers Agency by emailing [email protected] or by calling directly on 0207 0787 876.

Chris Tompkins Official Author Picture
Senior Keynote Speaker & Entertainment Manager

Chris Tompkins is a prominent Senior Keynote Speaker & Entertainment Manager at The Motivational Speakers Agency. Having joined the team in October 2019 as an After Dinner Speakers Sales Executive, Chris has swiftly made his mark. His previous roles as a Sales and Service Representative at James Boylan Safety Ltd and an Account Manager at Flogas Britain provided a strong foundation for his current position.


In his time at The Motivational Speakers Agency, Chris has successfully booked speakers for prestigious clients such as GoCardless, the Ministry of Defence, the NHS and Boots. He has collaborated with notable speakers including Jamil Qureshi and Jason Fox, showcasing his ability to connect with top-tier talent. As the agency’s resident expert on diversity and inclusion speakers, Chris has established significant relationships with advocates for equality and social mobility globally. His expertise spans various aspects of diversity, equity and inclusion, from neurodiversity to racial equality.


Outside the office, Chris is equally dedicated. He coaches his son's under-8 football team and enjoys golf, football and quality time with his wife and children. At work, his passion for sports shines through as he also specialises in booking Olympic and Paralympic athletes, footballers, rugby speakers and more. Chris's multifaceted expertise and personal passions make him an invaluable asset to The Motivational Speakers Agency.


Chris' Favourite Motivational Speakers:


Chris' Specialist Booking Areas:

More posts by >
7 minutes to read