Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson given Lifetime Achievement award

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Baroness Grey-Thompson wins Lifetime Achievement award

Eleven-time Paralympic champion Baroness Grey-Thompson has been honoured with the Lifetime Achievement award at the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year show.

The 50-year-old won 16 Paralympic medals in total and broke 30 track world records.

In 2010, she was appointed a life peer in the House of Lords.

Wales' Grey-Thompson is also a five-time world champion and won the London Marathon six times.

She was presented with her award by Sir Chris Hoy.

"I never thought as a young Welsh girl who had a dream of playing sport, when I was watching this programme, that one day I'd be in the audience, let alone on the stage," she said.

"Growing up I tried multiple sports but I was so fortunate I found something I love and became good at it. There were so many people, volunteers, who gave up their time and I wouldn't be here without them so thank you so much.

"It's been an amazing journey to see where the Paralympic movement is today. For young people today we have to make sure they have an opportunity to get active and play sport.

"Twenty years ago, Nelson Mandela said sport has the power to change the world. To my friends and family that helped me, thank you for putting up with me."

Grey-Thompson, who has spina bifida, is a previous winner of the Helen Rollason Award and in 2000 finished third in the Sports Personality of the Year award behind winner Sir Steve Redgrave and Denise Lewis.

The Lifetime Achievement award is given to someone who has made a major impact on the world of sport during their career.

Past winners have included Sir Alex Ferguson, Lord Sebastian Coe, Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill and last year's victor Billie Jean King.

Grey-Thompson has used a wheelchair since the age of seven and has previously said her parents would "probably have terminated the pregnancy" if they had known about her disability.

After trying several sports, she fell in love with wheelchair racing at the age of 13, and joined the British squad at 17.

She won her first Paralympic medal - 400m bronze - at Seoul 1988 before winning her first four titles in Barcelona four years later, where she also became the first woman to break the 60-second barrier in the 400m.

More Paralympic golds followed in Atlanta and Sydney as well as Athens, which were her final Games before she retired in 2007.

Grey-Thompson won her first London Marathon in 1992 and her sixth in 2002, just three months after giving birth to daughter Carys.

Having been appointed MBE in 1993 and OBE in 2000, she was made a Dame in 2005.

She was appointed to the House of Lords in 2010 as a crossbench peer, becoming Baroness Grey-Thompson of Eaglescliffe, and has spoken on several issues including sport, disability rights and welfare reform.

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