On this month’s podcast we meet Jaco van Gass. @jacovangass

Jaco was born in South Africa. At the age of 20, he flew to England hoping to follow his dream of joining the British Armed Forces. By mid 2007, Jaco had completed his training and he joined the highly regarded Parachute Regiment.

During Jaco’s second tour of Afghanistan in 2009, he sustained severe life changing injuries. He was struck by an RPG (Rocket Propelled Grenade). The injuries he sustained included the loss of his left arm at the elbow, a collapsed left lung, shrapnel wounds to his left side, punctured internal organs, blast wounds to upper thigh, a broken tibia and a fractured knee. Jaco had 11 operations and intense rehabilitation and incredibly, he survived.

His career dream of being in the army was over. Despite the physical and mental trauma he went on to become a member of the record-breaking team of wounded soldiers to trek unsupported to the North Pole.

More recently, Jaco has been a member of the GB Para-Cycling team, competing at the World Championships in 2013, 2014 and 2015. In 2016, Jaco narrowly missed out on being selected for the Paralympics but the next Paralympics in Tokyo 2020 are in his sights.

On this podcast we talk about the injuries Jaco sustained, adjusting to life after serving in the army, psychological rehabilitation, walking to the North Pole and his obsession and devotion to training as a GB cyclist.

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