Britain's Strongest Disabled Man Shows Us What He Can Do

Sport has proved to be a useful recovery tool for many injured service personnel - and one of them is British Army veteran Mark Smith...

Sport has proved to be a useful recovery tool for many injured service personnel - and one of them is British Army veteran Mark Smith.

The former Grenadier Guard never imagined he would end up in the strongman world, just eight years after being shot seven times and having to have his right leg amputated.

Not only is that now the case, however, but he has excelled and now holds the title of Britain's Strongest Disabled Man - and is loving every minute of it.

Mark's garage at home has become his place of work - a strongman gym kitted out to suit all his requirements and where he trains to take on the world.

His next goal is to be named Britain's Strongest Disabled Man for the third year in a row, before taking on the World's tournament in Norway in September.

His first foray into international strongman competition was in Manchester in 2016, where he told Forces Network he struggled to reach his potential:

"Since Manchester, I've changed my diet, my rest pattern and my training methods. I've really dedicated myself to the sport." 

It's that dedication that has seen him rise through the ranks to make a world title is now a real possibility.

As well as being England's strongest and Britain's strongest, he's twice winner of the Arnolds - a prestigious competition in Ohio created by Arnold Schwarzenegger.

It's people like 'Arnie' that inspired Mark to initially go into bodybuilding. He says he fell out of love with that sport, although there are certain parallels with strongman.

"There are similarities between the disciplines. Although the nutrition is at the opposite end of the spectrum it's still very structured."

Mark jokes that he's always kept his 'foot on the ground' and tries to not get carried away with his success, which is why he's as humble as ever when it comes to his Soldiering On Awards nomination. He said:

"To be recognised for that is quite... overwhelming, really. To get the opportunity to sit at a table and listen to... what other people have done with their lives post-injury or post-service [is fantastic].

It's all about the good times now for Mark as he grows into his sport and watches himself grow as an athlete.

After all, when pulling a truck is part of your day job, he can't be accused of doing anything other than his best.

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