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Jonnie Peacock on performing under pressure

'I wanted to be the first disabled person on there but not to have people talk about it. I didn’t want that to be the reason they voted for me.' 28 Aug 2020
By IPC

Double Paralympic champion Jonnie Peacock speaks on growing up with one leg after contracting meningitis, the importance of family and how he wants to change perceptions about disability by appearing on Strictly Come Dancing.

In the first episode of A Winning Mindset, Jonnie Peacock, Great Britain’s double Paralympic 100m champion sits down with Andy Stevenson to recap his life and career as one of the world’s most famous Paralympians. He talks about growing up with one leg after contracting meningitis, the importance of family, his two gold medals, and how he wanted to change perceptions about disability by appearing on Strictly Come Dancing.

Peacock talks about what drives him and the importance of the relationship with his mum in motivating him. He explains the role of expectations  and how he has defied expectations to achieve his goals. 

The star of London 2012 also reveals the nerve-wracking seconds before winning gold at his home Paralympics. “I remember they walked us out like gladiators and I’d never heard a noise like it.”

From home glory to his Rio 2016 gold medal, Peacock was elevated to new heights and in this episode, he speaks of how his rise led him all the way to the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, becoming the first person with a disability to compete on the show. “I wanted to be the first disabled person on there but not to have people talk about it. I didn’t want that to be the reason they voted for me.”

Peacock stars in the powerful new Netflix film about the Paralympic Games called Rising Phoenix, which debuts on Wednesday 26 August. The film, which stars Prince Harry alongside Peacock, and other Paralympic athletes like Bebe Vio, Tatyana McFadden and more, charts the rise of the Games and the individuals who make it. “That film blew me away.”

Peacock also talks about how the Paralympics are changing perceptions about disability. He talks about the importance of inclusion, and how as a young kid, he wanted to play football with his mates, not get involved with disability sport.

Peacock also discusses how the postponement of Tokyo 2020 due to Covid-19 has affected him, whether his career will continue to Paris 2024 and what the future holds for himself and the Paralympic Movement as a whole. We also ask the big question: could we see him in the 200m at one point?

A Winning Mindset: Lessons from the Paralympics, is the brand new podcast from the International Paralympic Committee and Allianz. It tells the Paralympic stories that will change the way you look at the world.  For the entire transcript click here.