This morning we had the privilege of talking to Luke Sinnot, a former Royal Engineer who lost both legs in Afghanistan and went on to win Silver and Gold at the Invictus Games in Florida.
Whilst serving with the British Army in Afghanistan, Luke lost both legs and almost lost an arm, when an Improvised Explosive Device exploded very close to him. After spending 9 weeks in hospital, rehabilitating and coming to terms with his life changing injuries, Luke knew that he wanted to use the experience to propel him into the world of elite athletics.
"When I woke up from the coma I was in for 2 weeks, due to lung damage, the first thing I said to the doctor was 'So where's the Paralympic talent scout?'"
That question turned out to be much more than an attempt at humour during an incredibly difficult time and Luke poured all his efforts into becoming a Paralympic athlete in the years that followed. He began with Sailing and spent four year representing Great Britain, until the sailing program was ended.
Luke explained to our students that for some years after the accident, he was not physically well enough to try any sports that involved running, due to the immense strain it puts on the body, when using prosthetic legs.
Never one to give in, Luke did eventually make his way into running and went on to win Silver in the 200m and Gold in the 400m races at the Florida Invictus games. Luke dedicates his Gold medal to the parents of a friend and colleague who was killed during their time in Afghanistan.
These days, it's Long Jump that Luke is really excelling at, having just about perfected his technique so he doesn't cause further injury to himself whilst jumping.
Luke now has his sights set on Gold at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics and from all of us here at Prior Park, we wish him the best of luck!