Steve Thomas Squad: Para Nordic Elite Squad Stephen Thomas grew up in a very modest Welsh mining village in the Ogmore Valley. Surrounded by green fields, streams and mountains, the outdoor environment was a perfect introduction to an unusual sporting choice. Which would lead him to 3 World Championship titles and a multiple Paralympian representing Great Britain in Both Summer and Winter Paralympics. At the age of 18 and a semi-pro rugby career beckoning, meningitis struck, resulting in the double amputation below the knees. Recuperating in a hospital bed, the televised 1996 Olympic Games gave him the inspiration to overcome life-changing injuries and drive him towards representing his country at the Paralympic Games. Whilst two chance meetings, one at the National Eisteddfordd and another at a Supermarket Car-park gave him the opportunity to compete at both Summer and Winter Paralympics. Fulfilling a life long ambition to become a professional athlete. His life changing injuries not only turned his sporting career around but also became a positive catalyst for his change in his Academic life. Realising that a pro rugby career was no longer an option he went back to college to improve his job prospects for the future. Typically Stephen committed whole heartedly to his learning and was awarded with ‘Student of the Year’ at Bridgend College and then subsequently graduated with BSC in Sports Development at Cardiff Met. Stephen has never seen himself as disabled and he subscribes to the view that every person has special abilities and we should work to our super strengths. Resilience is a key skill in life and this was never more tested than in 2012 when he was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes just months prior to the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Stephen now embarks on another sport where he is set to represent Great Britain in his first World Cup in December 2018 with aspiration retired from the sporting arena, wants to share his experience of his journey and show that there are no barriers if you are willing to commit to your dreams.