Table tennis world champion Will Bayley triumphed at the 2016 paralympic games in Rio when he proudly won gold for the GB Para Team, but his impressive achievements don’t stop there. Will was awarded an MBE in 2017 for his sporting career and has captivated audiences with entertaining appearances on shows such as the legendary Strictly Come Dancing. Since then, Will has competed in the Tokyo 2021 games where he won two silver medals.
Born with a rare congenital disorder called arthrogryposis, Will underwent numerous operations before he was even 3 years old at the Great Ormond Street Hospital, an incredible place that also helped him survive a childhood cancer diagnosis. At just 7 years old, during his recovery, Will began his journey into the world of sport when his grandmother bought him a table tennis table. Little did she know, it would lead to Will joining ParalympicsGB in 2006.
Fast-forward to 2011, not only does Will win a gold medal at the European Championships, but he is also voted Players Player of the Year. Then, in 2012 the sportsman achieved even greater success, becoming World Number One and winning a Class 7 Gold at the 2014 Tennis World Championships.
After his famous gold-medal success at the paralympics in 2016, Will Bayley bravely swapped his table tennis paddles for dancing shoes and took to the Strictly floor in 2019. Unfortunately, after 7 weeks of sparkling performances, Will had to say goodbye to partner Janette Manrara and leave the competition due to an injury. However, he had already won over the hearts of the nation with his energetic and down-to-earth personality. That wasn’t the only time Will charmed the public; he previously visited the notorious First Dates restaurant and spoke eloquently as a special guest on The One Show and Gareth Thomas’ Skin Deep podcast.
Will has acted as a role-model on a global level, fulfilling the role of Commonwealth Games ambassador for the Gold Coast Games in Australia 2018. Closer to home, Will is an ambassador of Kent Sports Trust Foundation Pepenbury, Disability Sports Coaching, Bupa and Nestle. In fact, he will be appearing on 6 million cereal packets in the run-up to Tokyo 2021. Moreover, consciously drawing on his childhood experiences, Will has headed up the Rainbow Face Masks campaign to support the Great Ormond Street Hospital during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Aside from his astounding dedication to table tennis, Will Bayley enjoys spending quality time at home with his two young daughters and dog.
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