“I want to achieve as much as I can now and have things that make my children proud and be like Uncle Albert in years to come and talk about what I used to do.”
Veteran Mark Smith fought for his life and rebuilt his body after losing his right leg during a live firing exercise and is now Britain’s Strongest Disabled Man.
The former Lance Sergeant in the Queen's Company of the Grenadier Guards, was injured in 2011 during a live firing exercise in Canada while training for his second tour of Afghanistan.
He lost his right leg as a result of his injury, and was medically discharged in 2013.
Since leaving the British Army, Mark has competed in Disabled Strongman competitions. In 2016 he won the title of Britain's Strongest Disabled Man and retained it in May 2017.
In an interview with Jay James and Hal Stewart on Forces Radio BFBS, Mark was asked about his journey from serious injury to being Britain’s strongest disabled man.
“I spent all my spare time at Headley Court in the gym… it was the one place I didn’t feel disabled.
“Knowing that it was only a matter of time before I was medically discharged I decided quite early on that I wanted to physically challenge myself.
“Over the course of time and gaining a bit more self-confidence in my own strength and what I could do as an amputee I decided to have a go at strongman.”
In January Mark was nominated for a Soldiering On Award which recognises the achievements of those who have served their country and supported the Armed Forces community.
“I’m very lucky and privileged that The Soldiers' Charity felt I was worthy enough of being put forward as a nominee for an award in the sporting excellence category.”
Mark decided to turn his life around post injury by doing something he loves. Each goal he sets himself helps him look forward and not back.
“The couple of years after being medically discharged, every obstacle and bad experience still made me miss the forces.
"Strongman has been the first thing I’ve done in my life since my injury where I’m looking forward.
The Forces Radio BFBS interview was recorded the day before Mark attempted a world record of pulling three trucks at Brands Hatch. On the day Mark set the record for pulling two trucks seated in 24.35 seconds. The video below shows him pulling three trucks which equates to 20 tonnes.
“This sport is all about defying what we should be able to do and I have just pulled THREE trucks, almost 20 tonnes in total!”