Andy Lewis, GB Paralympic Champion, visited St John’s on-the-Hill School on Wednesday 9 November to talk about how he became the first person ever to win Para-triathlon Gold when the triathlon made its debut at the Paralympic Games in Rio.
Lewis, from Lydney, competes as a through-knee amputee and is Paralympic, World and European Champion.Lewis gave demonstrations on how he uses his blade to run and had the children enthralled with details of the engineering behind prosthetic legs and how he maintains his running blades as if they are bits of “Lego”. He also talked about the importance of diet and fitness and the mind-set needed to be a professional athlete.
During the whole school assembly, Lewis described how he lost his leg as a result of a motorbike accident with a 38 tonne lorry when he was just 16. At the time he was applying to be part of the Army Parachute Regiment. His dream of joining the Regiment was never to be and he endured long, painful spells in hospital after the accident.
Lewis then made the difficult decision to have his leg amputated. Following the amputation he continued to suffer agonising pain and was left feeling depressed and resentful. Lewis had hit rock bottom, was unfit and began piling on the pounds.