Kylie Grimes is a triple Paralympian of the London, Rio and Tokyo games. While she competed in Athletics in Rio, her love for team sports has seen her return to her first love of wheelchair rugby (once known as Murder Ball).
An athlete, show jumper, and aspiring Olympian all of her life, within just three years of her life-changing spinal injury in 2006 Kylie returned to competitive sport by cycling 450 km, from Vietnam to Cambodia, to raise money for Regain, a charity dedicated to helping get newly injured tetraplegics back into sport. Having undergone a remarkably swift personal rehabilitation herself, she now seeks to help others do the same and continues to undertake sponsored rides around the world for Regain.
She started playing for the London Wheelchair Rugby Club in 2009, and for Great Britain in 2011. In 2012 she qualified for her first Paralympics in London in which the team finished fifth.
She switched to Athletics and competed in the World Championships in Doha in 2015; the Rio Paralympics in Rio, where she finished fourth; and the London World Championships in 2017 where she came fifth.
Returning to her team in 2018, she and the British Wheelchair Rugby Team won gold in Denmark to become the European Champions in 2019, also qualifying for Tokyo 2020. The Tokyo Paralympic Games was delayed a year due to COVID-19, but it finally happened in August 2021 and the Great Britain Team became the Paralympic Champions. The Team were the first European Team to win a medal at the Paralympics in Wheelchair Rugby and the first Team Sport to win gold for ParalympicsGB.
Kylie's dream of becoming a Paralympic Champion finally came true thirteen years after training as an elite athlete, she also became the first female in the history of the sport to win gold.
“Sport has saved my life. My experiences since 2006—and particularly my journey back to sport, teamwork, and a strong relationship with my body—have helped me to overcome many obstacles in my life, and sharing the lessons I’ve learned to help motivate and inspire others is a huge honour. It’s so important for those with life-changing injuries to know that life goes on, and so can they. It’s equally important for sportsmen and women of all levels of ability to be reminded of what’s possible, and all that they are lucky to have: a team, a mission, a life to live to the fullest. You just have to go out there and get it.”
Kylie was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen's New Year Honours 2022 for services to Wheelchair Rugby.
- Kylie Grimes MBE