Wednesday 7 September 2016

(From London 2012 to Rio 2016 Paralympics) and interviews with inspiring people....(Part 1)

Interview with Team GB's Paralympician Micky Yule

Powerlifter (16/08/2016)

       We're The Superhumans | Rio Paralympics 2016 Trailer (Channel 4)

The superhuman campaign on channel 4 to promote the Paralympics was fantastic and I loved the catchy tune and inspiring message to those of us with disabilities that #YESICAN do what I want regardless what others say or think! We should go for sport if we want to.

1) Did you enjoy taking part in the superhuman trailer #YESICan for promoting the Paralympics happening in Rio?

1- I loved taking part in the super humans advert for Rio. I went down to London Ecxel with the rest of the team for filming and we had an ace time. There were lots of atmosphere from the crew which really came over in the end product.
2) What would you say to young people with disabilities or ex military with injuries/disabilities who are thinking about taking sport up or those who are taking it further and wanting to be a Paralympican, what advice would you give them? Why you recommend them becoming a Paralympican?
2- I would encourage anyone dealing with physical or mental disability to take up sport. I originally took up powerlifting on the back of the fantastic London Paras. I watched the closing ceremony from my hospital bed and promised myself that the next one in Rio I would be at as an Athlete. Sport had me different goals to target. I quickly stopped thinking about my injuries and started thinking about going to the gym and preparing for my next competition. They way I looked at it was like, the worst thing that can happen is I get fitter.

3) Why you recommend people to take up your sport?
3- I am very determined to succeed. I know this comes from my Military background. My coach and I are constantly assessing my performances and targeting new areas to grab those gains. I however can sometimes get too intense!! I put my training above everything, family/friends which I wish I could change. It's just the way I'm wired up I think. 😄

4) If you can answer - How's your training going at the moment now it's so near to the Rio Paralympics 2016?
4- My training is really hard just now. We will train to failure next week and then head off to Rio with all the hard work behind us. Rio is all about technique and speeds. So not really to try and find strength, that will be done here in the UK. My mind is really pushing my body into some dark places in training which strangely I like.

5) You must be feeling excited now it's not long to go! Will you be able to party on the day of the opening ceremony or will you have to do your Powerlifting the day after?
5- I won't be attending the opening ceremony. We have our final training session in the morning after. Having been to a few of these things you don't get to bed until maybe 2/3 am so I'll do all my partying at the closing ceremony where I can relax.

Twitter: @MickyYule9
Powerlifter, Amputee, European Champion.
 Athlete.   - Insta BIGMKY9
I'd like to thank Micky Yule for taking time out of his extremely busy schedule and training to let me interview him especially as it's his debut at RIO!
Catch Micky for the Men's 65kg Powerlifting in the Paralympics on Saturday 10th Sept at 20:00-21:30 our time (GMT).

Coping with the Big C would like to wish Micky the best of luck at the Paralympics in Rio!! 

Interview with former Paralympian James Roberts


1) What did you think about the news that organisers were 3 weeks late in paying 8m Euros (£7 m) of travel grants and could mean up to 50 nations may not be able to afford to send their athletes?

In my opinion it was not great news for Paralympic sport given the success achieved in London. But also being a former athlete myself, you spend 4 years of your life trying to get to what is the pinnacle of your sport and something like that happens which is completely out of your control, must feel awful.

2) Briefly describe yourself & your disability.

I'm now a online training and nutrition coach, but previous to become a personal trainer I was a Paralympic athlete for a decade (2003-2013). My disability is femoral dysplacia and floating hip of the left leg as well as scolosis of the spine. Throughout my 10 year career, I was fortunate enough to represent Great Britain at 4 World Championships, 1 European Championship, 2 Paralympic Games and countless other international competitions. 

In the end, I represent 3 different sport at international level, swimming, rowing and sitting volleyball (more recently called para volley). I competed in the Beijing 2008 Paralympics in adaptive rowing and in the London 2012 Paralympics in sitting volleyball.

3) Who encouraged/inspired you to do what you want in life? (or helped)

The people that encouraged me in my sporting life were both my mum and my coaches once I was involved within disability sport; those people being Anthony Hughes and Billy Pye.

The people that inspired me in my early life, were athletes like Ryan Giggs and Colin Jackson.

4) What's your biggest bugbear around the perception of disability?

The only bugbear that bothers me personally is the comment "aww, it's nice that you are able to do that …."

5) How do you think other people see your disability?

This definitely depends on the person, as like I answered in the previous question, you will get some people that pity you because you have a disability. However, you to get people at the other end of the spectrum that think you are an inspiration for what you are able to achieve.

6) Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

Running a successful online training and nutrition coach business, helping others achieve their goals.

7) How would you inspire the next generation?

I think from an athletic point of view, I think London 2012 inspired the next generation and that is not only the disabled community but the general public at large. I personally, have gone into local schools with both the Denbighshire and Conwy Disability Development officers to promote and to talk about my sporting background and my life growing up with a disability but also getting the kids and teachers to engage with the sports.

8) Which sports do you look most forward to in the Paralympics?

For me personally, the sports I will look forward most to watching will be the sports I competed in. But saying that, I have got to know so many friends over the years that I will probably try and catch as much as I can. Work allowing !!!!

Thanks to James Roberts for letting me interview him.

James Roberts Fitness
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Interview with James
1) Briefly describe yourself & your disability.
My name is James Ireland and I am a 24 year old bsl level two student and dancer from Leigh on Sea in Essex. I was born with several things:
Spina Bifida (Myelomeningocele); which means that when I was in the womb my backbone and spinal canal did not close before birth therefore leaving a gap in my spine and causing damage to the nerves which control my ability to walk and having feeling in my legs and in my case this has caused me to be paralyzed from the waist down and to have no feeling in my legs.
Hydrocephalus: a condition in which fluid accumulates in the brain, enlarging the head and sometimes causing brain damage. Unfortunately this has caused brain damage for me which happens to be the part of the brain which is to do with short term memory. Having hydrocephalus also means that I have to rely on a drainage system, called a shunt which I had surgery for. It consists of a long, flexible tube with a valve that keeps fluid from the brain flowing in the right direction and at the proper rate
I also have bilateral hip dysplasia, bilateral talipes & scoliosis.
At the age of 14 I was diagnosed as a type one diabetic and 2 years ago I was diagnosed with epilepsy.
2) Who encouraged/inspired you to do what you want in life? (or helped)
Well I would probably have to say my mother or just my family really because I have always grown up in a very mainstream environment, disability was never an issue, was never a 'thing', it just happen to be something I was born with. I was never over protected which even to this day I am thankful for because when ever I had an issue or a problem I was also challenged and encouraged to find my own way around things and ways of doing things independently.

3) What's your biggest bugbear around the perception of disability?

People who are overly cautious or don't want to cause offense. People who discourage young children or themselves who are too scared to ask questions because in my opinion, unless the discussion about disability is started, unless the questions are asked how can people learn? How can the barriers be broken and how can people get educated. Something else which is a bug bare for me is the pigeon hole theory that seems to be going on in society at the moment like if one person is able to do something then everyone who has the same things should be able to do the same, people don't seem to understand the individuality in each person and the fact that everyone, disability or not, is different.
4) How do you think other people see your disability?

Spina Bifida - I would say people would have heard of it but wouldn't necessarily know anything about it.
Hydrocephalus - Woudnt think that many people would have heard of it.
Type one diabetes - this is something I believe many get mistaken for type two diabetes, because people hear diabetes and just think....oh yeah that's something fat people get and your not allowed to eat unhealthy feed and must avoid sugar at all cost which couldn't be further from the truth, type one diabetes is not something that can be avoided.
Epilepsy - I believe that this is something that for a lot of people, and me included before I was diagnosed in 2014. But that people are scared of due to the total lack of knowledge around the subject of epilepsy and the different types of seizures.
5) What would you like to see improved for those with disabilities?
More positive education on the subject of disability, better inclusion across the media, more disabled role models across the media for disabled youngsters to be able to look up to and to aspire to be like, more acceptance, more support and less of a witch hunt.

6) Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
Since I have had a lot of things happen over the years with my health I don't like to look too far ahead, instead I like to live and enjoy the now because none of us know what tomorrow may bring so enjoy life while it lasts.

7) How would you inspire the next generation?

I don't class myself as an inspirational person so I'm not sure I could.

8 ) Which sports do you look most forward to in the Paralympics?
The Paralympics, I most look forward to basketball & rugby because I love team sport, they are fast and they are furious.
The website I would like to promote is my aspire campaign which with a friend we have launched to try and get regular coverage of disability sports shown across the media on a regular basis not just every 2- 4 years for either the Invictus or Paralympic Games:
Our petition can be signed by visiting:

Thanks to James Ireland for letting me interview him.

Interview with Jeff Bryan (Lives in the United States)
1) Briefly describe yourself & your disability.
I am a 52 year old RBKA, career Line Firefighter and Adventure Athlete.
2) Who encouraged/inspired you to do what you want in life? (or helped)
My wife inspires me to live life to the fullest.

3) What's your biggest bugbear around the perception of disability?
I don't like being considered disabled. I am only disabled with my leg off.

4) How do you think other people see your disability?
People don't notice unless I am in shorts. Most people are Amazed.

5) What would you like to see improved for those with disabilities?
I think helping disabled people in the workforce is most important. Price reduction on things we each have to have for Activities of Daily Living.

6) Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
Working, climbing, biking and still enjoying the Rocky Mountains.

7) How would you inspire the next generation?
I am trying to inspire the next generation by teaching traditional leading skills in Rock climbing.

8 ) Which sports do you look most forward to in the Paralympics?

I really like the Winter Paralympics. I like to watch skiing. As far as summer I would have to go with cycling. 🙂!

I blog for California Casualty. (My story is on website.)

Thanks to Jeff Bryan for letting me interview him.

#RoarTogether #SuperCharge

We're so proud to have dressed these guys tonight 🎉 How great do they look?! 😍#GoParalympicsGB #supercharge


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