Woman who lost legs in 7/7 bombing on train she caught after celebrating London Olympics win makes Paralympic team
'I was one of the lucky ones,' says mother-of-one caught in 7/7 bombingSportswoman makes sitting volleyball team after losing legs in the terrorist attack
10:30 GMT, 21 June 2012
A survivor of the July 7 suicide bombings said her dreams had come true after being picked to compete at the London 2012 Paralympics.
Martine Wright, 39, took up sitting volleyball after losing her legs in the 2005 terror attacks, and spends up to 25 hours training a week.
Martine Wright, a former marketing manager, is now on Britain's women's sitting volleyball team
After finding out she had made the squad, she said: 'I have dreamt of being part of it and now I am going there to do my country proud.
'I would like to thank my family and friends for all their love and support they have given me in my quest to become a Paralympian. They are all amazing'.
Mrs Wright, from Tring in Hertfordshire, was one of the last people to be pulled from the wreckage of the tube train at Aldgate. She lost 75 per cent of her blood, spent 10 days in a coma, and lost both her legs.
She only narrowly survived because off-duty policewoman Elizabeth Kenworthy braved the wreckage and tied a tourniquet around her legs. Seven people died in her tube carriage, while 52 people were killed in total in the terrorist attack.
'I was one of the lucky ones,' she told Trans World Sport.
'I'm still here. I got new legs and I survived.'
Martine Wright now walks with false limbs. She says she is lucky to have survived the 7/7 bombings
In a strange twist of fate, the sportswoman caught a later
train than usual on July 7th 2005 because she was running late after celebrating London winning the Olympics the night before. She was sitting just 3ft from one of the bombers when they detonated.
She spent 10months in hospital before learning to walk again at Queen Mary's Hospital in Roehampton.
She returned briefly to her job in marketing but then turned to sport as she felt something was missing from her life.
'Someone who goes through something traumatic can lose their confidence and lose their goals,' she said.
'I think sport revives these things in people.'
The mother-of-one tried a taster Paralympic day and fell in love with the team sport of sitting volleyball.
The sport is in its infancy in Britain,
potentially putting them at a disadvantage in comparison to their
rivals, but with London 2012 on the horizon the team has made a
determined push to try and prove they are worth their home nation spot.
ParalympicsGB had only sent a standing volleyball team to compete at the Games before London 2012.
Martine, pictured in 2010, married her partner Nick and had son Oscar after the bombings
Also on the women's team is Sam Bowen, a former soldier who lost a leg in a mortar attack in Iraq.
When Volleyball England took control of
the British Sitting Volleyball programme in 2009, there were just a few
male players training.
Now there are a men's and women's squads with players training daily with a full time coach.
ParalympicsGB Chef de Mission Craig Hunter said: 'Today we have announced a group of athletes who are truly phenomenal.
'Not only have they worked incredibly
hard to get to this point, but as individuals many of them have gone
through difficult personal circumstances in order to do so.
'These athletes epitomise the power of
the Paralympic Games to inspire people, both disabled and non-disabled,
and the power of sport to change peoples' lives.'
at the selection announcement at City Hall, London Mayor Boris Johnson
wished the team 'the very best of luck when they battle it out against
the best teams from around the world this summer.'
For more information on the London 2012 Paralympics visit www.london2012.com/paralympics