An adrenaline junkie who suffered life-changing injuries in a car accident is set to represent Team GB in able-bodied snowboarding events.
Andy Macleod, who is originally from the Isle of Lewis, was cycling through Fort William to a friend’s house when he was struck by a vehicle travelling more than twice the speed limit in a 30mph zone. He suffered a brain injury and a traumatic amputation of his right leg, but has not let these deter his positive approach to life.
At the time of the accident in 2011 Andy was 18 years old and studying Adventure Tourism at the University of the Highlands and Islands. Since his recovery he has continued to enjoy extreme sports such as off-road cycling and snowboarding. On the first anniversary of the accident, Andy climbed Ben Nevis wearing his prosthetic foot.
Andy’s case settled in March 2017, where he received a settlement which included provision for prosthetic limbs which will allow him to live as full and active a life as possible. His main prosthesis has movement range similar to a human foot and he has specialist limbs for snowboarding, running and other activities.
In the time since his case settled he has successfully qualified as a snowboarding instructor in New Zealand. He’s now set to undertake a six-month snowboarding training programme with the Home Nations team and compete in the FIS and Europa Cup competitions in early 2018.
Andy, who was also selected as an Olympic torch bearer in the build-up the Games in London in 2012, said: “My life changed forever as a result of the accident, but I still get a rush of adrenaline from the same sports now as I did before it happened. I’m determined not to let my injuries hold me back from doing anything that I want to do.
“The next few months should be exciting and as well as some competitive action in able-bodied events I’m keen to push for the Winter Paralympics in 2022.
Throughout his case, Andy was represented by specialist solicitors Watermans Accident Claims and Care. The legal firm are set to continue that support by providing Andy with a brand new snowboard for his training camp and competitions over the coming months – as there is no public funding available to support Andy’s bid for glory with Team GB.
Beth Speakman, Scottish Paralegal of the Year, who was part of the team representing Andy at Watermans, said: “Andy has taken a harrowing, traumatic experience and not let it affect his positivity or passion for living life to the full. The strength of character he has displayed over the past six years is astonishing, and he deserves all the support he can get as he looks to compete for Team GB at an elite level.”
Andy added: “The past six years have been a long, challenging process and Watermans supported me every step of the way. I’m grateful for the donation for a snowboard and hope I can perform well and show what I’m capable of on it over the next six months.”