As told to Blesma.
Owen Pick is heading to the Winter Paralympics ready to show the world why he was crowned Banked Slalom World Champion in 2020. The amputee Afghanistan veteran, who was named in Great Britain’s snowboarding team this week, missed out on a medal on his debut at Pyeongchang 2018, but now he is determined to win a podium finish.
“I came off the back of the PyeongChang Winter Paralympics a bit bummed out. I didn’t do as well as I expected,” admits the former Royal Anglian Regiment soldier.
“I then went into the following season a bit half-hearted. We worked on my mental game, my confidence, and suddenly, in my 2019 season, my results just went through the roof. I was winning pretty much every event. I even won Dew Tour, which was crazy. Hopefully, I can head into this Games, give it my all and have a better result this time.”
“As I did, I stood on an IED. I was blown 10 feet up and 15 feet away from the explosion point itself”
But a disappointing performance at a Paralympics Games doesn’t come close to the hardship the 30-year-old has already faced. For at just the tender age of 18, he was serving in Afghanistan when he stepped on an improvised explosive device.
“I joined the Army when I was 16. From a very young age, I got in the Army Cadets, and just loved it. Joining the Army was the only way forward for me. “By the time I was 17, I’d passed through my training and joined the Royal Anglian Regiment. I was only in Afghanistan for about three and half months before I was injured.
“We’d been under fire all day and got the order to assault a building. Four of us managed to clear it. I came back to pick up the bags that we dropped at the front door, but as I did, I stood on an IED. I was blown 10 feet up and 15 feet away from the explosion point itself. I don’t remember a great deal after that. Two days later, I woke up in hospital with a massive cast on my right leg. My heel, shin, and foot had been completely shattered.”