Skeleton is similar to bobsleigh, but you do it solo, face first and only inches from the ice. Skeleton athletes can experience forces up to 5G and speeds of over 130km/h.
Micky Yule has no experience tackling the Skeleton. But when you ask him why he decided not just to take on the sport, but to challenge the World Champion to a race he simply says:
“Just because it hadn’t been done before, didn’t mean we couldn’t do it – just that people weren’t crazy enough to attempt it.”
Staff Sergeant Yule
Micky joined the Army as he turned 17, heading to basic training a week after his birthday. It was the start of a great career.
“I was doing really well. I was 31 and I’d just been promoted to staff sergeant so I was flying through the ranks.
"Everything changed on the 1st of July. My whole life got turned upside down."
“I never had any intention of leaving, my career was rolling out in front of me and I was happy. Then everything changed on the 1st of July. My whole life got turned upside down.”
“I was leading a high risk search team on a foot patrol in Afghanistan. I stood on a pressure pad IED and lost both legs beneath the knee.”
Micky will take on Skeleton World Champion Martins Dukurs with the help of his friends Will and Mike.
Turning to sport
Micky had been a member of the Army weightlifting team before his injury. So when he was in intensive care he was thinking about getting fit again.
“I asked the physio about gym equipment because I was just wasting away being in the hospital and on meds. They actually let me down and I started training when I had a cage around my pelvis to hold my body together. I had a broken arm, and I remember doing weights.”
Micky went onto compete at the Commonwealth Games and the Paralympics and won gold at the inaugural Invictus Games.
Micky will reach speeds of over 130kph when he takes on the Skeleton.
Taking on the Skeleton
However, he started looking around for his next challenge and saw the skeleton.
“I finished sixth in my first Paralympics and I found myself trying to find that next buzz, that next goal. Then I heard of this challenge called the Skeleton, which looks crazy, and I thought ‘Do you know what I really fancy that’ so I put myself forward.
“It’s one of the most dangerous sports in the whole of the winter games, and there’s never been a double amputee skeleton athlete. Out of everything else, I felt like it was going to light that fire inside me again to push my limits.”
Taking on the skeleton with no training was not enough for Micky. He also decided to challenge reigning Skeleton champion Martins Dukurs.
Will Micky be able to beat Martins?
Don’t stop grinding
“There were loads of challenges. We got told many times that we should stop, that it wasn’t achievable, that I was going to hurt myself and find myself in hospital again.
“But we had a really strong team, with Will, Mike and my coach Kristan Bromley. We were a close knit team and we believed in each other.
“It was hard and it was pushing the boundaries and double amputees had never done it before, especially not taking on the world’s best on the most dangerous track.
“But just because it hadn’t been done before, didn’t mean that we couldn’t do it - just that people weren’t crazy enough to attempt it.”
Can Micky beat Skeleton World Champion Martins Dukurs? Find out on Quest TV on Wednesday 7th February at 9pm.