Joining the Household Cavalry in 2005, Corie Mapp was on operation in Afghanistan in 2010 when he was injured by an IED blast – losing both his legs below the knee.
Discharged from the Army in 2013, Corie was recuperating at Headley Court when he discovered the power of sports recovery: “For me, sport is my crutch. It’s not just about the winning, it’s about being mentally strong enough to know that you can handle situations as well.”
Initially introduced to sitting volleyball, a sport Corie loved, coaches next suggested bobsleigh… he had no interest. Fortunately, for the GB Paralympic team, Corie decided to: “give it a go and see what it’s about.”
After his first experience in a bobsleigh, coaches saw his potential and said they’d never seen Corie smile so much.
“The coaches thought I was a natural at it.
“I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a good adrenaline rush and I definitely wanted to do it again”
Awarded a grant fund from Help for Heroes for much needed sports recovery equipment, Corie’s natural ability and sheer determination has led to him becoming a GB athlete in para bobsleigh and sitting volleyball. Winning gold in bobsleigh at the 2017 World Cup, Saint Moritz, he has also competed at the Warrior Games, as well as in team UK for the 2014, 2016 and 2017 Invictus Games.
“I’m good at a lot of sports, but I was never great at one of them. To be at the top of the sport at an elite level is a very special thing,
“To have something in the morning to get up for and be proud of is a big deal for me. I genuinely love it as a sport, and when I get into a sledge, I have a big smile on my face.
“Every time I go out there I want to give 100 per cent, for myself, the country and for the people who are investing in me.”
Corie’s family have also proven an inspiration throughout his recovery journey: “My mum and my daughter gave me this saying, they said ‘Corie, you need to live and not exist.’
“I would say just be you in all circumstances. Do what makes you happy.”
Corie continues to train towards competing in the next bobsleigh World Cup and World Championships, he is also hoping to compete in bobsleigh during the next Winter Paralympics in 2022. Further down the line, Corie wants to use his experiences in the wider community:
“I hope I can inspire people from all walks of life, whether military or otherwise, and continue to serve my country in the best way possible by being a good sportsman and a role model for others to follow.”
“My long-term goal is to go into grass-roots sports and give back.
“Especially kids. I go and talk at some schools and the kids are fascinated.
“To see that light go on in their head, or that glint appears in their eyes. It’s something totally different for you and it’s fantastic.”
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