A South Yorkshire man has announced plans to compete in the world’s first ever Cybathlon next year - after receiving a five-figure sponsorship deal from Sheffield law firm Irwin Mitchell.
Peter Gray was left paralysed from the neck down following a freak accident seven years ago while on holiday with his family in the Dominican Republic.
Peter was swimming in shallow water when a wave rolled him into the seabed and dislocated his neck, leaving him with no feeling in his torso or limbs.
But now, after seven years of agony and heartache, the 31-year-old, of Armthorpe, Doncaster, says he is excited to be heading up Team Gray Matter for the 2016 Cybathlon: the world’s first competitive championships for Robotic and Technology assisted paralysed athletes.
The championship is open to racing pilots with disabilities who are using advanced assistive devices - everything from powered knee prostheses and wearable arm prostheses, to powered exoskeletons and novel brain-computer interfaces.
The dad-of-one said: “When we first discovered news of a championships for “parathletes,” full of high-tech disciplines that included one for people with my level of paralysis, I was highly intrigued.
“Things gathered momentum quickly and I’m now registered to take part in the games thanks to the support and hard work of Team Gray Matter, and now with Irwin Mitchell as my commercial sponsor.
“It’s great to realise that there are businesses out there willing to support athletes who have had to overcome adversity to achieve their goals. The road is still a long one but the journey is now possible and we can start to meet with our technology partners to start testing the equipment I need.”
Louise Jenkins, a specialist serious injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said: “Peter is a real inspiration and proof that, whatever your goal or its obstacles, there should be nothing stopping you from having ambition.”
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