Gemma competed in a number of different sports as a youngster, including figure skating, to a national level – and both hockey and athletics to a county level.
At the age of 15 she was county triple jump champion and had dreams of representing her country on the international stage.
The following year, though, in 2008, she was diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome, which dashed her hopes of competing in non-disabled sport.
After volunteering, coaching and officiating at various sports events she began playing wheelchair basketball in 2010.
She then began wheelchair fencing after starting her law degree at Durham University and gained selection for London 2012.
After a year of serious illness in 2013, she returned to the sport in 2014, winning two World Cup bronze medals.
During that year her world ranking rose as high as number six, as she focussed her efforts on qualifying for Rio 2016.
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