JJ Chalmers is a former Royal Marine Commando who has served on operations in Afghanistan. He was wounded by an IED in a blast that claimed the lives of two of his friends. JJ shares his inspiring story of recovery, his journey to a gold medal at the Invictus Games, and living his life to the fullest.
LCpl John-James Chalmers, “JJ”, is a former Royal Marine Commando who has served on operations in Afghanistan.
A qualified teacher, he joined the Royal Marines Reserve in 2005 whilst at University and transferred to regular service in 2010.
He was deployed to Afghanistan in 2011 where he served on the frontline in Helmand Province. His team were in close liaison with the Afghan National Army, Afghan National Police Force as well as re-building relationships with civilian communities. He was wounded by an Improvised Explosive Device an "IED" whilst on foot patrol; in a blast that claimed the lives of two of his friends.
He woke up a week later in hospital, in Birmingham, where his recovery and rehabilitation began.
JJ has been through hundreds of hours of surgery and has endured months of specialist rehabilitation throughout his years of recovery.
Since being wounded he has lived his life to the absolute fullest regardless of his disabilities. Aside from relearning almost every function for his 'New Body' he has also taken up as many new opportunities as he can, like learning to Scuba Dive and competing in the Invictus Games in 2014.
As Captain of the Trike Cycling team, a team made up of Recumbent and Hand Cyclists; which brought home 8 medals, JJ has also personally won a Gold and Bronze for Recumbent Cycling and a Bronze in the 4x100m track.
As well as competing JJ has been featured in the BBC1 Invictus Games primetime documentary which gave him his first taste of TV. He now is forging ahead with a Broadcast career and has gone on to present The Anniversary Games, Superhumans, coverage of the IPC in Doha and National Paralympic Day all for C4. 2016 saw JJ return to The Invictus Games in the role of an Ambassador telling his story at the opening ceremony plus reporting and punditry for the BBC. JJ was recently an integral part of the Rio Paralympic studio presenter team on C4; hosting over thirty hours of daily live coverage.
Away from Sport JJ is part of the BBC ceremonial coverage team covering events such as Remembrance Day and The Lord Mayor’s Show. The People Remembers saw him co- presenting alongside Sophie Raworth, a daily week long BBC1 series honouring the heroes of war on the home front and on the battlefield.
For Radio Five Live JJ headed up their IPC coverage and hosted the well received documentary To Helmand and Back.
His other credits include The One Show, BBC Breakfast, Wild Escapes, The Pilgrimage, BBC Scotland’s Getaway series and reaching the Quarter Finals of Strictly Come Dancing on BBC1.
2021 has JJ showcase his crafting and design skills on Money For Nothing for BBC1 as well as presenting across both The Olympics for BBC1 and The Paralympics for C4; the first disabled presenter to do so.
JJ is a Patron for Help For Heroes and an Ambassador for The Invictus Games. He travels the country giving inspirational talks and motivational workshops to schools and businesses.