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It’s a strange feeling – Micky Yule comes full circle on return to Birmingham

Micky Yule returns to Birmingham for the Commonwealth Games after having his “life saved” in the city (Nick Potts/PA)
Micky Yule returns to Birmingham for the Commonwealth Games after having his “life saved” in the city (Nick Potts/PA)

Scottish weightlifter Micky Yule is returning to Birmingham for the Commonwealth Games 12 years after waking up from a coma as a double amputee in the city.

Yule will be a flagbearer for Team Scotland at Thursday’s opening ceremony, alongside two-time Commonwealth badminton medallist Kirsty Gilmour, who is looking to complete the set following silver and bronze at Glasgow and the Gold Coast respectively.

In July 2010, Yule, now 43, stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED) while serving as a Royal Engineer search advisor in Afghanistan, which caused him to lose both legs and endure a shattered pelvis and fractured arm.

Micky Yule at Rio 2016
Micky Yule represented Britain at Rio 2016, six years after losing his legs (Andrew Matthews/PA)

He has undergone over 40 operations since losing his legs and is grateful for the staff at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital who helped save his life.

He 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.”

Six years after suffering those life-changing injuries, he was chosen to compete as a Paralympic powerlifter at Rio 2016.

Since then, Yule has become a bronze medallist at the Tokyo Paralympic Games as well as achieving respective gold and silver in the 2020 and 2021 World Cups, which were both held in Manchester.

Fast forward to the Commonwealth Games and Yule is hungry to add more medals to his growing collection.

He added: “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.

“I’m in the best place I’ve ever been. We’ll take the day as it comes but I’ll be looking to medal and it’ll be the only thing that’s on my mind.

Micky Yule, right, gives some advice to Mark Stonelake during powerlifting training
Yule, right, gives some advice to Mark Stonelake during powerlifting training (Andrew Matthews/PA)

“Put on a weight that will medal, don’t let anybody steal that medal from you. I’ve been sat with the cameras on me in bronze place and the last guy comes in and lifts more than you and the camera moves, and you pack up your stuff, go home and watch him go on the podium and get a medal.

“It’s a bad place to be and takes a long time to get over so hopefully that changes here and that’s what my mindset is and nothing’s going to get in the way of stopping it.”

Asked if there are any plans to revisit the hospital, Yule joked: “I only come up here for surgeries and check-ups! Touch wood I won’t be going anywhere near it for the next 10 days. I’ll be happy where I am. Anything related to that hospital will be unplanned, so we don’t need that.”