Musselburgh powerlifter aiming for Gold at Rio

Prince Harry roared him to victory as he secured a precious Gold medal for this country at the Invictus Games '“ now Micky Yule is ready to power his way to victory again as a key member of Team GB hoping to bag a record medal haul at the Paralympics in Rio, which start this week.

Tuesday, 6th September 2016, 9:09 am
Updated Tuesday, 6th September 2016, 10:14 am
Lightweight weightlifter Michael Yule celebrates after he became the United Kingdom's first gold medal winner at the Invictus Games 2016. Picture; Peter Byrne

The Musselburgh powerlifter lost both his legs after stepping on a bomb in Helmand Province six years ago.

On Saturday, the Royal Engineer will make his Paralympic debut when he competes in the 65kg category – and he will have high praise from the Prince ringing in his ears.

Micky, 37, said: “When you first get injured a lot of people think you’re ready for the scrapheap because you lost your legs in Afghanistan.

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“Me and the guys coming through now who are going to Rio and were injured in Afghanistan have shown you can put your mind to anything.

“You can have the most horrible injuries and the biggest setbacks in life, whatever it is, and as long as you can put them away and deal with it and use sport – or use whatever motivates you – then you can achieve the biggest of dreams.”

Yule will make his first appearance in Rio on the third day of action.

Earlier this year, he won Britain’s first Invictus Games Gold medal and had Prince Harry shouting his name in support.

“Four years ago I watched the closing ceremony [of the London Paralympics] in a hospital bed after having one of my operations,” Micky said. “When I looked at that closing ceremony I thought, ‘In four years time I need to be there’. It was a big motivator for me.

“There’s been so many ups and downs within that four-year period – getting a medical discharge from the Army; I’ve had about 46 operations since I first got injured. I’m ready to do the best I can.”

Prince Harry has sent a good luck message to the Invictus Games competitors taking part in the Rio Paralympics. Eleven competitors from five nations who were at the 2014 or 2016 Invictus contests will be in Brazil.

Harry, patron of the Invictus Games Foundation, told the sportsmen and women that the “fight to the finish line won’t be easy” but he spoke of his pride at their achievements. He said: “I remember watching these competitors at the 2014 and 2016 Invictus Games. And now they’ve been selected for the Rio Paralympic Games. I can’t think of a better example of showing how important sport can be for recovery.

“I know they’ll compete with the same Invictus spirit that we saw in London and Orlando.

“They will lift everyone around them and whether you’re watching in Rio or on TV around the world, they will inspire you.

“I’m incredibly proud of what they’ve achieved and will be cheering on every single competitor during the Games.”