Paralympian Micky Yule juggles kids and kilos
Three years ago, Micky Yule achieved a personal best by hoisting a loaded barbell weighing 195kg above his head and becoming the British Para-Powerlifting Champion. But ask the 41-year-old former soldier to name the biggest challenge he’s faced in recent months and the answer has nothing to do with feats of strength.
Micky, who has two children aged 5 and 13, laughed and said, “The kids have been off school and I’ve found the homeschooling side of things really difficult. I don’t think I’ve ever held teachers in such high regard. That’s a tough gig!”
But if there’s one thing the Scottish Paralympic Powerlifter understands, it’s getting on with the job at hand.
Micky was serving with The Royal Engineers in Afghanistan in July 2010 when he stepped on an improvised explosive device. He immediately lost his left leg and had his badly damaged right leg removed at Camp Bastion.
Micky admits he spent some “black days and nights” contemplating his future after he sustained his injury. But before long he became determined to use sport to drive his rehabilitation. He said, “I watched the London Paralympics from the crowd and made myself a promise that the next time there was a Paralympics Opening Ceremony, I would be at it.”
Like every athlete on the World Class Programme, Micky is supported by money from The National Lottery. He said the funding made possible by players like you has played an essential part in helping him compete at the highest level of his sport.
Micky said, “I wouldn’t have been able to commit to full time training without that support. It helps fund the coaches, the physios and the service staff. I don’t see how Paralympic sport could exist without The National Lottery.”
A big part of that support is delivered at Loughborough University where Micky has recently resumed training with his coach and support team for two weeks each month. He is relieved at the resumption of face-to-face coaching, but says the coronavirus has made a significant impact on the way sessions are conducted.
Micky said, “With disabled athletes, we need plenty of one-to-one contact. If I’m being passed a 60kg dumbbell, my coaching staff have to be right next to me. At the moment they have to wear visors, aprons, gloves and masks. They’re sweating like crazy!”
Not that anything will get in the way of Micky’s preparation for the Tokyo Paralympics. His commitment is as unwavering as it was when he vowed to use sport – and powerlifting in particular – as the focus of his recovery from the injuries he sustained in Afghanistan.
“My attitude was – and still is – I’m going to give this 100 percent, I’m not going to quit. I’ll either make it or I won’t, but I won’t ever quit.”
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13th Octobert 2020
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