She’s Limitless! Paralympian
Jodie Grinham is Going for
Gold at Rio 2016 She’s Limitless! Paralympian Jodie Grinham is Going for Gold at Rio 2016

Jodie Grinham, 23, will shoot for Team Great Britain at Rio’s 2016 Paralympics. She competes using a compound bow in the standing class. It’s her first Paralympic Games.

Jodie started archery in 2008. After attending the Paralympic inspiration program at London 2012, she won a place for Great Britain at the 2015 World Championships in Germany.

HOW SHE GOT STARTED

“My dad did archery during the week, and when I was at the club watching I asked if I could do it, too. Then a member of that club said because of my disability I wouldn’t be able to do archery. I wanted to prove them wrong.

“Archery has always been my freedom of getting away from things that are bringing me down. I used it as an escape and fell in love with it. Then I decided it was archery that made me happiest, so I made it my way of life.”

Jodie started shooting archery in 2008 to prove wrong someone who said her disability would prevent her from shooting a bow. “Depending on how you look at the world, and the box you think out of, of you can overcome anything,” Jodie said.

Jodie started shooting archery in 2008 to prove wrong someone who said her disability would prevent her from shooting a bow. “Depending on how you look at the world, and the box you think out of, of you can overcome anything,” Jodie said.

HOW SHE GOT THERE

“I’ve always known that if I shot to my best I could be good enough to make the Paralympic team for Rio, but I finally knew it was 100 percent possible when I finished seventh individually at the World Championships last year in Germany.”

The battle wasn’t over. She needed to get picked to take the place, which she did in style, smashing the national selection trials this year. “I ranked first overall, winning 12 of my 14 matches and winning the 720 round after shooting a new personal best.”

WHAT’S DIFFERENT ABOUT HER BOW

Jodie was born with no fingers and half a thumb on her left hand, as well as shoulder issues. “Due to my left arm being shorter, it means I need a higher wrist sling to catch the bow after I shoot, so I have a metal plate on the front to raise this.

“I also modify my grip so it’s a little bit wider as my hand is a lot smaller, so I this gives me a bit more contact with the bow.”

A metal plate on Jodie’s bow raises her wrist sling so it will catch on her shorter left arm, and a modified grip gives her more contact with the bow. Photo: World Archery

A metal plate on Jodie’s bow raises her wrist sling so it will catch on her shorter left arm, and a modified grip gives her more contact with the bow. Photo: World Archery

WHO SHE IS GOING TO MAKE MOST PROUD IN RIO

“My family and friends. They all have been so supportive and really helped me turn my life into one of an athlete.”

WHAT SHE HOPES TO ACHIEVE IN THE SAMBODROMO

“I would love to bring home a mixed team gold medal, and hopefully, if I get all my training right, an individual medal, too!

“In Rio, I would really like to go to the Olympic Stadium, as well as see the statue of Christ The Redeemer.”

WHO IS HER ARCHERY HERO?

“I’m a massive fan of [World Champion] Sara Lopez. I love how consistent she is, and how she has become so competitive, as well as having other focuses such as her studies. Truly an amazing athlete.”

“I set plans and work out what I need to do in order to achieve it, and then work out who I need as support around me to achieve my goals,” said Jodie, pictured here with John Stubbs, fellow Team Great Britain archer and Paralympic, World and European Champion. Photo: World Archery

“I set plans and work out what I need to do in order to achieve it, and then work out who I need as support around me to achieve my goals,” said Jodie, pictured here with John Stubbs, fellow Team Great Britain archer and Paralympic, World and European Champion. Photo: World Archery

IF SHE WASN’T AN ARCHER …

“I would go back into law and finish my degree to become a marital solicitor.”

WHAT CAN YOU TAKE FROM ARCHERY INTO EVERYDAY LIFE?

“I set plans and work out what I need to do in order to achieve it, and then work out who I need as support around me to achieve my goals. Everybody in the world, whether disabled or not, faces different challenges to try and do the same things in life. However, depending on how you look at the world, and the box you think out of, of you can overcome anything.”

HOW HER FRIENDS WOULD DESCRIBE HER 

“Outgoing. Bubbly. Friendly. Caring. Sparkle.”

Jodie, who first used archery as an escape from life’s struggles, describes the sport as “limitless.”

Jodie, who first used archery as an escape from life’s struggles, describes the sport as “limitless.”

WHAT SHE IS AFRAID OF

“I’m not afraid of many things in life. On a serious note, it would be to disappoint my family and friends. On a more humorous note, I’m TERRIFIED of spiders!”

IF YOU COULD KEEP ONLY FIVE POSSESSIONS?

“A family photo. A teddy bear. My bow and arrows. My necklace/ring – and my phone!”

DESCRIBE ARCHERY IN ONE WORD

“Limitless.”

Watch Grinham represent Great Britain at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, Sept. 7-18. Check out NBC’s full broadcasting schedule here, then tune into the archery action to see who brings home archery gold.

Looks Like You're In 

Not the right location?

Comment on this Article