Amputee Afghanistan Veteran & Forces Guides In GB Winter Paralympics Squad

An Afghanistan veteran who lost a limb to an IED at the age of 18 has become part of the first Great Britain para-snowboarding squad to...

An Afghanistan veteran who lost a limb after being injured by an IED at the age of 18 has become part of the first Great Britain para-snowboarding squad to compete at a Winter Paralympics.

Owen Pick has been named in the ParalympicsGB team along with two forces members who will act as guides, Brett Wild and Jennifer Kehoe, to athletes Millie Knight and Menna Fitzpatrick.

Owen, who was on his first tour with 1st Battalion, the Royal Anglian Regiment as a private when he was seriously injured, opted to have his right leg amputated below the knee 18 months later.

But he has not looked back since. He told Forces Network:

"If I was given a second chance would I change it [being injured]? No... To be able to live the life I live now... It's just incredible."

Owen knew nothing about snowboarding before he was blown up in 2010 but almost exactly eight years on he's on the cusp of Paralympic glory.

Paralympic amputee snowboarder Owen Pick

The sport has become a huge part of his life and with that has come a huge support network, stretching from family and friends in Cambridge to his second home, Tignes in the French Alps.

One of his biggest supporters is coach James Sweet, who has been fine-tuning Owen's riding skills prior to his biggest competition yet. He said:

"If you were to just watch him ride around a mountain you wouldn't know [he had a disability]. He looks as good as anyone else out there."

"In the last 18 months, I've just seen huge changes. A lot of that's to do with his experience and the training he's getting on a week-by-week basis.

"He adapts very fast. To see him pretty relaxed and riding the way he's riding [means] I'm confident he's going to have a great shot at hopefully getting on the podium."

Forces Network first met Owen at the 2015 Inter-Services Snow Sports Championships in Meribel, where he was racing against able-bodied military athletes.

Paralympic amputee snowboarder Owen Pick speaking to Forces Network

He had just returned from the X Games, with para-snowboard having enjoyed its Paralympic debut in Sochi the winter before.

Now, however, he is preparing to compete at the 2018 Winter Paralympics.

They get underway on March 9 in Pyeongchang, South Korea, with Owen's events on March 12 and 16.

Having already enjoyed success at the World Championships, he will be competing in the snowboard cross and banked slalom events.

More: The Injured British Afghanistan Veteran Pulling On An England Shirt