Not just another Paralympic athlete, Anna Turney is a lifelong athlete who’s more self-aware than most. Injured nearly 10 years ago in a snowboarding competition, she transformed herself into a top mono-skier representing Great Britain in two Paralympics. And that’s not all.
This year she transformed herself again, leaving her Paralympic career behind and focusing on the next chapter of her life – journalism and motivational speaking -something she never dreamed she’d be doing before she was hurt. This is why Anna is a superstar and more. Read on for her awesome story!
Why she’s fearless
In 2006 when she was just 26 years old, Anna was in Japan for a snowboarding competition; a sport she fell in love with as a teen that took her all over the world. But while doing a jump she fell, breaking her back. When she was diagnosed with paraplegia, she fell into a massive depression. “I couldn’t dance anymore, I couldn’t snowboard. Why would I want to live?” she says
But she found love while in rehab, and then her savior came – adapted sports. She was introduced to handcycling by a new friend – a double-amputee – and then she tried out wheelchair basketball. And when Anna found out she could also do snow sports, she was sold. She started with mono-skiing, and realized she was a natural.
The same year she tried out the sport, 2007, was the same year she was accepted into the British Disabled Ski Team. And by 2008, she was competing at the highest level and was selected to represent Great Britain in the 2009 IPC Alpine world championships in South Korea, finishing fourth in the giant slalom. Anna also skied in the downhill, slalom, super-G and super combined throughout her career.
In 2010 is when Anna made her Paralympic debut – at the Vancouver Winter Paralympics. Sadly, she narrowly missed the bronze medal in the giant slalom, finishing fourth. And four years later she participated in the Sochi Winter Paralympics. Unfortunately here she crashed on one of her runs and left the Paralympics without medaling again, but she is a survivor. Watch her ski in Sochi
Sports are have what driven her her entire life, and she can credit sport for helping her move on past her injury. Watch her talk about the importance of sports in her life
At first, she took the crash pretty hard, knowing that participating in the next winter Paralympics was an unlikely nearing 35 years old. So earlier this year in January, she decided to focus on the next chapter of her life and officially retired from sports, deciding to work in journalism and become a motivational speaker.
She’s already done work with the BBC, having done a great piece on retired athletes and depression (watch here), and she’s a notable speaker at schools throughout England. Anna frequently speaks on behalf of the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust.
And that’s what we love about Anna, her nonstop perseverance throughout life and positivity She may have not won a medal when the Paralympics, but she still calls herself a Paralympic athlete. She is on this adventure called life and she relishes every moment. If only the “real world” could be just a bit like her.
How would you take it if you weren’t able to medal in the Paralympics despite going twice?
– Visit Anna’s site: AnnaTurney.com
Watch the videos!