Powerlifting army veteran who lost legs in bomb explosion wins bronze medal at Commonwealth Games

AN ARMY veteran and former Portsmouth driving instructor is taking home the bronze in powerlifting at the Commonwealth Games.

Friday, 5th August 2022, 10:23 am
Updated Friday, 5th August 2022, 2:04 pm

Former Staff Sergeant Micky Yale, who served with the Royal Engineers, lost both of his legs above the knee when he stepped on an improvised explosive device in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, in 2010.

Micky, 43, was a part of the army powerlifting team pre-injury and has used the sport as a huge part of his rehabilitation and recovery.

He is now representing Team Scotland at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Micky Yule hugs his daughter after winning the bronze medal for the men's heavyweight para powerlifting final at the Commonwealth Games at The NEC in Birmingham. Picture: AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi

Speaking ahead of his journey to Birmingham, Micky said: ‘It’s the first time I’ve turned up at a Commonwealth Games not injured. I had a torn pec and a broken leg, not even little injuries that you can get past on the day. Touch wood I’m ready to go now and we’re all set to get some great training in.’

Following the competition, Micky is now a bronze medal winner after lifting 192kg in the heavyweight benchpress.

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Micky was also a flagbearer for Team Scotland at Thursday’s opening ceremony alongside two-time Commonwealth badminton medallist Kirsty Gilmour.

The army veteran, who was treated at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, said: ‘It’s a strange feeling. I flew in here in a coma from Afghanistan and then spent eight weeks getting patched up and surgeries, sometimes being quite close to everything going wrong.

‘But I’m back here. The people at Queen Elizabeth Hospital saved my life.

‘It’s not all bad, it’s mixed feelings, but to be back here on a real positive note to try and win a medal for your country and be the flagbearer, I think it comes full circle to where things started 10 years ago.’

Micky, a former instructor at Horsea Island defence diving school in Portsmouth, is celebrating his first medal in the games after missing out in 2014 and 2018.

He was also chosen to compete as a Paralympic powerlifter at Rio 2016 and went on to win a Paralympic bronze medal in Tokyo 2020 with a best of 182 kg, as well as achieving respective gold and silver in the 2020 and 2021 World Cups, which were both held in Manchester.

Micky has been supported by coaches from Help for Heroes’ sports recovery programme.