Musselburgh soldier is first double amputee to take on skeleton run

Royal Engineer and double amputee Micky Yule opn his winning skeleton run, Picture: SWNS
Royal Engineer and double amputee Micky Yule opn his winning skeleton run, Picture: SWNS
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A SOLDIER who lost both his legs in a bomb blast has become the first double amputee to take on the skeleton run - and he defeated the five-time world champion.

Royal Enginner Micky Yule, originally from Musselburgh, took up powerlifting after he lost his limbs stepping on a Taliban IED and become the first Brit to win an Invictus Games gold medal in 2016.

Micky Yule (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

Micky Yule (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

But the Paralympian wanted a new challenge and to defy a ban that prevents para sport athletes from taking on of the most dangerous winter sport - the skeleton.

The dad-of-two teamed up with experts for just four weeks to take on the fastest track in the world, in Whistler, Canada.

And hurtling at speeds of more than 100mph an inch from the ice - facing 5G on the corners - he pitted himself against five times world skeleton champion Martins Dukurs.

Remarkably, he beat the Latvian skeleton racer and reigning champion by 0.02 seconds. He hurtled down the track using his huge muscly shoulders - rather than feet and legs - to steer the specially-made ‘tea tray’.

Royal Engineer and double amputee Micky Yule on his winning skeleton run, Picture: SWNS

Royal Engineer and double amputee Micky Yule on his winning skeleton run, Picture: SWNS

The win was screened on Slider shown on Quest on Wednesday night.

Speaking after his achievement, Micky said: “On the final run, I said, ‘This is the last time you’ll see me on a sled’ and I meant it.

“That is the respect I have for Winter Sports.”

READ MORE: Paralympian Micky Yule wins Britain’s first Invictus Games gold medal

Royal Engineer and double amputee Micky Yule, Picture: SWNS

Royal Engineer and double amputee Micky Yule, Picture: SWNS

He added: “I’ve always been a warrior. That’s why I started watching sport.

“The Olympics and Paralympics inspired me to become a Paralympic powerlifter. You could say the Olympics saved my life.

“There’s nothing like it - it’s the best battling against the best.

“But my favourite is the Winter Games. Nobody is going to die running the 100m, but these guys on snow and ice, they risk their lives every single run.

“The sport that always look the most dangerous and fastest to me was always the skeleton.

“Sliding downhill, face scraping against the ice; you never feel more alive than when you’re staring death in the face. Trust me, I know.”

Micky joined the Army when he was aged just 17 and rose the ranks to staff sergeant before he was injured in a roadside explosion in July 2010.

He was leading a high-risk search team on a foot patrol in Afghanistan, stood on a pressure pad IED and lost both legs beneath the knee.

He represented Scotland at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in powerlifting, before competing at the Rio Paralympics and winning gold at the 2016 Invictus Games.

READ MORE: Wounded ex-soldier in para-powerlifting medal win
He is working towards competing at Tokyo 2020 - but took time out of training and put himself forward for the special international challenge last year.
Experts built a special sled because muscly Micky is twice the width of most competitors.
They tried running ‘blades’ to power his start up but they proved too dangerous and an engineer from the Williams F1 team made him a set of fan leg rocket boosters.
His ‘boots’ started his push off to get him up to the same speed of rival Dukurs - but they then switched off at the same time an able-bodied sportsman would jump on the board.
Micky then had to control all the steering and movement - and more importantly, hang on.
The challenge culminated in a two-heat race against Dukurs and Micky beat the professional slider’s fastest run on the day by 0.02 seconds.
The reigning world champion beat Micky by 1.64 seconds in their first run, but Micky smashed his competitors time by 1.02 seconds in the second run.
Overall, due to skeleton scoring rules, this means that Dukurs beat Micky overall by 6/10ths of a second - but Micky’s fastest run was still quicker.
“It was just nuts,” said Micky originally from Musselburgh, near Edinburgh, who has two kids, aged ten and two, with wife Jody.
“My fastest run beat his fastest run. I never thought I would be anywhere near him.”
He added: “There were loads of challenges.
“We got told many times that we should stop, that it wasn’t achievable, that I was going to hurt myself and find myself in hospital again.
“It was hard and it was pushing the boundaries and double amputees had never done it before, especially not taking on the world’s best on the most dangerous track.
“But just because it hadn’t been done before, didn’t mean that we couldn’t do it - just that people weren’t crazy enough to attempt it.”
Slider will be repeated on Quest, at 10pm on Friday on Freeview Channel 37.