With three days left of the 2012 Paralympic Games, all eyes are on Thailand’s Sayunsee Jana as she looks to cement her place in history as her country’s only female Paralympic champion following years of personal struggle. At 17, Jana was in a devastating motorbike accident that broke her back and left her paralyzed. In that instant, everything changed.
“Until my accident, I never thought about my future,” says Jana, now 38, “All I knew was that I had just started being able to provide for my family. I thought, ‘If things were tough before, they’re only going to get worse.’”
During those first few years after the accident Jana suffered physical pain, financial stress and such deep personal depression that she attempted to take her own life. The failed attempt revamped our outlook on life and her own sense of self. Jana became involved in wheelchair sports finding a niche in wheelchair fencing.
Thirteen years after her first international fencing tournament, Jana is considered one of the best the game has ever seen. Her competitors refer to her as “unbeatable” having gone undefeated in her past twelve tournaments. In addition, Jana has won three medals in the two previous Paralympic Games becoming one of Thailand’s most winningest competitors to participate in the Paralympics.
For more information on Jana, the 2012 Paralympics and other athletes, visit: www.london2012.com