Shen Yugong won her 3rd Paralympic Gold Medal in Sitting Volleyball (in a row) at London 2012 and has been the one of the sports best attackers for over a decade.
To read all about her background and how she got into Sitting Volleyball please click on her name above or HERE.
Jay Keeping Photography
Click on a country to find out more information and read their sitting volleyball 'player stories'.
Siatkówka NA Siedząco
I was actually born in Tallinn (Estonia) and I then moved to Poland shortly after my birth. I lived and worked in Cieszyn Silesia in the small town Goleszów. I was disabled from birth, I have no right leg, two fingers in his right hand and my left foot is distorted due to my mother having rubella during pregnancy. I was an energetic girl who was always smiling by I did not participate in any sports activities. I was never interested in sports in school and in fact I was relieved of Physical Education as I did not accept myself and I was afraid to show who I really was.
For the first 20 years of my life I did not even hear about any sports for disabled people. 5 years ago I was introduced to them by Janusz Rokicki and I am very grateful for that. Originally I went for a couple of athletics sessions but then heard about sitting volleyball. The first training session I went to was about 350 miles from where I live. At the beginning I was terribly embarrassed because I had never taken my prosthetic off infront of other people before!
My first competition of the 2009 European Championships which was an amazing experience. It showed me that despite my disability, I can enjoy life. Now I am more confident in myself and definitely more active!
I find practice an escape from the struggle of problems and difficulties. As of today, I can say that this sport has changed me, I'm now strong enough to be able to open up about my disability in front of non-disabled people. I want to show others that despite their disabilities they can enjoy life as much as I do, that we are not handicapped but in fact can not cope with life (this stereotype unfortunately still exists).
The road to success takes time, sacrifices and compromises. I am glad that I am where I am, that I play and train. It gives me a great pleasure. I have so much energy and a zest for life now. I strongly encourage you all to follow the sport with disabilities.’