Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson is a national figure, a person who has moved from a highly successful athletics career to being a prominent political figure in Westminster, as if this was always the plan. How did she manage that?
Born in Cardiff, she picked up the ‘Tanni’ name from her sister’s mispronunciation. She also picked up a strong work ethic from her parents, especially her dad. This meant she would be out training on Christmas Day or now, asks her team of helpers to brief her as thoroughly as is humanly possible so she can win her arguments.
Professionally how do we see her now, and how does she see herself? Is it about her genre-defining career on the track, or wearing the robes of the establishment, or is she now the ‘woman who Tweets’ about rail journeys?
We got to spend time with Tanni over a Zoom call to ask her this and lots of other questions including, does she still speak to Alan Shearer after that moment? Who has helped her the most? What exactly is ‘Snog Marry or Kill’? The biggest issue she’s dealing with related to disability right now? Do Paralympians get short thrift compared to Olympians? Are disabled women included in new current women’s political movements? What’s the significance of her necklace when she’s in the House of Lords?