Forces of Nature; RIO 2016 PARALYMPIC GAMES; Wounded Military Personnel Fighting for Medals in Brazil

The Mirror (London, England), September 3, 2016 | Go to article overview

Forces of Nature; RIO 2016 PARALYMPIC GAMES; Wounded Military Personnel Fighting for Medals in Brazil


Byline: AMANDA KILLELEA

Among the athletes heading to Rio are several members of the armed forces who are hoping their fighting spirit will lead to them bringing home some medals.

Royal Marine Commando Joe Townsend, 28, lost both legs in an explosion in Afghanistan in 2008. Joe, from Eastbourne, completed his first triathlon in 2011 and has since established himself as one of the world's best para-triathletes.

Mikey Hall, 40, from Shropshire, was left paralysed from the chest down when he was injured during a training exercise while serving with the 1st Queen's Dragoon Guards. He joined the Help for Heroes Sports Recovery programme and is ranked fourth in the world in archery.

Micky Yule, 38, was serving with the Royal Engineers in Afghanistan in 2010 when he stepped on an IED. He has had 46 operations and has lost both legs. Micky, from Edinburgh, is heading to Rio after captaining the powerlifting team at the Invictus Games and taking home gold.

Former Army captain Nick Beighton, 34, from Shropshire, lost both legs after stepping on an IED in Afghanistan in 2009. He was accepted onto the British Rowing Programme and narrowly missed out on a medal in London 2012, taking fourth place in the mixed sculls.

Jon-Allan Butterworth, 30, had to have his left arm amputated to the elbow when he was caught in a rocket attack in Basra, Iraq in 2007.

It was while the former RAF weapons technician from Manchester was recovering at Hedley Court that he first made contact with British cycling coaches. …

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