A WAR hero who was confined to a wheelchair for two years after being wounded in action has been selected to cycle in an athletics competition at Olympic Park in London next month.
Martyn Gibbons MBE, 40, was serving as a soldier in the Royal Regiment Fusiliers in Sangin, Afghanistan, when a mortar attack caused shrapnel injuries to his legs in 2007.
The dad-of-three from Bacup was awarded an MBE for displaying outstanding bravery and courage, but lost the use of his legs.
Martyn battled to be able to walk again and can now get around unaided.
He will now join the 130-strong British Armed Forces Team for the Invictus Games from September 10 to 14. He said: “I went from people walking and overtaking me on my bike to getting chosen for the Invictus Games. It’s been quite a journey.”
Help For Heroes’ Sports Recovery programme helped Martyn get fit enough to make the Invictus Games team, but the charity has also been involved with helping him set up his business, Military Mountain Bikers, in partnership with The Royal Foundation’s Endeavour Fund.
Military Mountain Bikers, based in Bacup near Lee and Craig Quarries, is led by a team of qualified mountain bike instructors, and offers guiding, training and assistance for wounded, injured and sick veterans and serving personnel wanting to access or progress in the sport.
The Games are supported by The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, the Ministry of Defence and Help for Heroes, and feature archery, athletics, wheelchair basketball and rugby, cycling, powerlifting, indoor rowing, swimming, sitting volleyball and a special driving challenge.
Tickets cost £12.85 and are on sale at www.invictusgames.org.