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.
"I woke up a week later in hospital, in Birmingham, and this is where my recovery and rehabilitation began. I have been through hundreds of hours of surgery and have endured months of specialist rehabilitation throughout the years of my recovery. I have been challenged every day, sometimes I have slowed but I have never stopped. Since being wounded I have lived my life to the absolute fullest regardless of my disabilities; aside from relearning almost every function for my 'New Body' I have also taken up as many new opportunities as I can, like learning to Scuba Dive and competing in the Invictus Games in 2014. I was honoured to Captain the Trike Cycling team, a team made up of Recumbent and Hand Cyclists; which brought home 8 medals. I personally won a Gold and Bronze for Recumbent Cycling and also as a Bronze in the 4x100m track."
As well as competing JJ 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.
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.