Mickey popped in to the Greenhous Vauxhall dealership in Trench Lock, Telford where he received his Vauxhall Insignia estate on the Motability Scheme. In chatting with Motability Specialist, Chris Pickering, it became apparent that Mickey has had a rocky road in health terms since London.
Mickey revealed that he had a big fight on his hands against a severe urinary tract infection in 2015 which nearly claimed his life. “I was ill for about 7 months and it was an infection that kept coming back. It laid me very low and training was out of the question, so I missed competitions including the World Championships last year. However, I am still ranked 4th in the world at my event.”
Since returning to full training in October, Mickey, now aged 25, feels he is stronger than in 2012 when he won the 100 metres in 14.75 seconds, just shy of the world record, but still a Paralympic record. He had competed for Great Britain in Beijing at the age of 18 and won the silver medal. Mickey is also a multiple British and European record holder in the T53 sprints.
He is a close friend of multiple Paralympic gold winner Dave Weir, training with him under the direction of their coach, Jenny Archer. Mickey has one day off a week from training which includes a day of weights work, but mostly track and road work.
Brought up in Ketley Bank and now a resident of Arleston, Mickey is proud of his roots in Telford and has been very supportive in his community since 2012, especially supporting the charity ‘Get Kids Going’ which gives disabled children and young people support to be able to participate in sport across the country. Mickey was awarded an MBE for his services to athletics in 2013. He also received the freedom of his home town Telford in 2014.
Chris Pickering is delighted that Mickey and his family have used the Greenhous Vauxhall dealership for their Motability vehicles over the past 20 years. “The Vauxhall Insignia is adapted for Mickey to drive. It is an automatic fitted with hand only controls. Mickey used to rely on his father, Peter as his driver and, along with his Mum Shelley, they have had a succession of Astras and Zafira cars. Now Mickey is an independent driver and he has plenty of room to carry his specialist racing wheelchair and Mum and Dad.”
Mickey says of the Insignia: “I love the car. It is such a smooth ride and drives really well.” Certainly Mickey needs to drive himself as he has a very busy life outside his training. He has recently joined forces with Jane Childs to create a new 24 hour Gym at the White House Hotel in Wellington which will be called ‘The Arena’. It will open in late Spring. Both Mickey and Jane are qualified personal trainers and the Gym will cater for all abilities.
They say if you want to get something done ask a busy person – well for Mickey that has included taking on an ambassadorial role for the West Midlands Ambulance for the past 2 years. A service he is passionate about. As for the future, Mickey has his sights set on more Paralympic and world athletics success saying: “I have at least two more Paralympics in me as I probably will not peak until I am 32!”
He really is a role model and inspiration for any person, with whatever personal difficulties. Proving that they can achieve a goal through determination and hard work, and along the way enjoy themselves and make a lot of new friends. Good luck for Rio, Mickey!