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  1. ITV Report

7/7 woman achieves Paralympic dream

In 2010, Martine Wright spoke to London Tonight about her journey to make the Paralympics Photo: ITN

A woman who lost both her legs after being horrifically injured in the 7/7 bombings today described her "goosebumps" after fulfilling her dream of representing her country at the Paralympics.

Martine Wright, who proudly wears the number seven shirt in recognition of the day that changed her life, took her place in Britain's sitting volleyball team.

Along with the rest of the country, she was happily celebrating London's successful Olympic and Paralympic bid hours before the terror attack rocked Britain seven years ago.

Since then, she has become the embodiment of the Games by fighting back to fitness before taking to the court this morning alongside her team-mates.

Despite going down 3-0 to Ukraine at the ExCeL Arena, Wright, 39, from Tring, Hertfordshire, told of her love for the sport and praised the incredible crowd.

She said: "The biggest crowd we have played in front of before today was 250, so to come here is really amazing.

"As a team we are really proud of ourselves. We have only got two-and-a-half years of experience and this is the first ever GB team so I am really proud, and this is the start of our journey."

She added: "I have goosebumps now and to come out here and represent my country in a sport I love is amazing.

"It's a dream and a dream I would never have had before 7 July."

The mother-of-one, whose son Oscar was due to watch from the sidelines, is among the 21 players who make up Britain's first ever men's and women's Paralympics sitting volleyball teams.

Wright previously spoke of her joy at being picked to compete: "I have dreamt of being part of it and now I am going there to do my country proud."

She was one of the last people to be pulled from the wreckage of the Tube train at Aldgate. She spent 10 days in a coma, and lost both her legs.

Being just 3ft away from one of the bombers, she considers herself lucky to be alive following the blast.

Doctors told her she had lost 75% of the blood in her body and if it had not been for another passenger, off-duty police officer Elizabeth Kenworthy, who helped tie a makeshift tourniquet around one of her legs, she would not have survived.

Wright quit her job and used the incident as a platform to embark on a whole new life, including the decision to compete for Great Britain at the Paralympics.

She 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 ParalympicsGB at a disadvantage in comparison to their rivals, but with London 2012 on the horizon the team 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.

It has meant that an extra focus by the British Paralympic Association and Volleyball England governing bodies so the teams could meet their "credible performance" requirement before being rubber-stamped for a home nation slot.

Just a few years ago there was no sitting volleyball programme in Britain and all would-be Paralympians had been warned there would be "no free tracksuits", and they would have to earn their places on the squad.

When Volleyball England took control of the British Sitting Volleyball programme in 2009, there were just a few male players training.

Now there are men's and women's squads with players training daily with a full-time coach.

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