Mark Colbourne MBE is a British Paralympic cyclist and International speaker who, after breaking his back in a horrific para-gliding accident in 2009, overcame the odds to win gold and two silvers just three years later at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Born in November 1969, Mark grew up in Tredegar, South Wales and always dreamt of one day becoming a Professional Athlete and representing his country in a sport. His career pathway started at the age of 20 when he discovered a passion for designing and making stained glass. He had natural focus and concentration and never gave up until the job was done. Mark thoroughly enjoyed that career which lasted for almost 10 years, and then led him into a management position and then into business-to-business sales.
It wasn't until after nearly 20 years in the corporate environment that Mark Colbourne found himself living out the dream of actually being a professional athlete and training every day with the most respected sporting organisation in the world, British Cycling. It was a childhood dream for him that was coming true; however, it took a near death experience in 2009 to finally get him there!
Previously an extreme sports enthusiast until a serious paragliding crash in May 2009, when he fell 35 feet after being forced into an emergency landing, left Mark with a broken back and a permanent disability. He patiently learned to walk and cycle again, resulting in winning the Para-cycling World Track Championships in Los Angeles in February 2012. The summer of 2012 saw Mark live out his cycling dream with Paralympics GB by focusing on what he could do rather than what he couldn't do. This led him to win a Paralympic Gold Medal and Two Silver medals at the London 2012 Paralympics.
Mark's philosophy in life has always been to respect others at all times, no matter what level of lifestyle they have or what kind of language they speak. He believes we are all born happy in life but unfortunately choose to be unhappy towards what we can or cannot achieve. However, the fact of the matter is that if you give 100% at all times then you have to be content with your results, as surprisingly 101% doesn't exist! Mark says that he can think of nothing worse than giving 99% effort at something and having to then live with the disappointment for the rest of your life, knowing you didn't do your best, and giving that final 1%.
After retiring at the end of 2013, with three Paralympic medals and a World Championship gold to his name, Mark's focus has changed to helping and inspiring others to achieve their own personal goals.