Martyn Ashton | 2016 Winner

Defied paralysis to get back on his bike.



Martyn, a former daredevil downhill mountain bike star, was paralysed from the waist down in 2013 after falling off his bike three metres up while performing a stunt.

He spent five months in hospital and was told he would never ride again. Then, in June 2016, he released a video of himself careering down one of the world’s hardest downhill courses on a specially-designed mountain bike.

The damage to his spine left him unable to walk or cycle but Martyn has never been one to take his diagnosis lying down. Filmed over the course of a week in the run-up to the Downhill Mountain Bike World Cup in Scotland, he finished the course to enormous cheers and floods of tears as his family gathered to welcome him back at the bottom.

“I just wanted to get down and not make a fool of myself,” he says. He came up with the idea during what he refers to as ‘his big lie-down’ in hospital. “I don’t know what this says about my mentality but I never really thought, ‘I’m never going to ride my bike again’, he said. “I was just thinking: how am I going to ride my bike again? I don’t like to think about what I can’t do, but what I can do.”


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