PARALYMPICS LONDON 2012: 7/7 survivor Wright claims she's living the dream
MARTINE Wright doesn't want sympathy ahead of the London 2012 Paralympics - she just wants support.
EXCITED: 7/7 survivor Martine Wright has made more than 40 appearances for Great Britain's sitting volleyball team and can't wait to make her Paralympic debut
Wright lost both her legs in the 7/7 bombings just one day after London was awarded the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2005.
She was one of the last people to be pulled from the wreckage of the tube train at Aldgate and spent ten days in a coma and nearly ten months in hospital.
But she now describes herself as 'one of the lucky ones' as she looks forward to playing her part as a member of Britain’s first women’s sitting volleyball team to compete at a Paralympic Games.
“I was unlucky to get on that tube that day, but I was so lucky to survive and I think about the 52 people who died that day," said Wright, who will wear the number 7 on her vest this summer — in memory of those who didn't survive.
"I’m the lucky one, I’m embarking on that dream. I feel I was meant to make this journey.
“I’m here living a dream. The goal is to go out there and do the best we can. We’ve got to make sure we do our absolute best on court and make our nation and our families proud.
“I can’t believe it’s just days away now, I can’t wait.
“We’ve been watching the countdown for so many days, months and years and I can’t wait to get there now."
Wright, 39, says she 'fell in love' with sitting volleyball after trying lots of different sports at a British Paralympic Association ‘Potential Day’.
She was first selected for the British team in 2009 and has made more than 40 appearances for the national side.
“I really wanted to have a new ambition after I lost my legs,” she added.
“I tried out lots of different sports, but I fell in love with sitting volleyball.
“It’s absolutely brilliant. It’s a unique sport, I found it quite liberating to be able to get on to the floor and do a sport without any adaptive equipment, like a wheelchair.
“Sitting volleyball is a really fast-paced game. You just don’t sit still at all. I’ve always enjoyed team sports and I love the team dynamic of sitting volleyball.
“We all have different disabilities so everyone moves very differently on court. I think that makes the team stronger – we are very aware of what different people can and can’t do.
“But when your bum is on the court, all disabilities are forgotten. We’re playing a Paralympic sport and that’s it.”
The British women’s team only gained their place in the London 2012 tournament in March this year.
As a relatively new squad, they are not expected to challenge for a medal, with China and the United States favourites for gold, but Wright says they are hoping to make an impact at their home Games.
“We’re the very first British women’s sitting volleyball team to go the Paralympic Games and we’ve only been together for two and a half or three years,” she said.
“To be competing at a home Games is absolutely brilliant. Absolutely everyone has been buzzing about the Olympics. To me that was just the warm-up. This is the real bit coming up now."
© Sportsbeat 2012