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Joe Townsend

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British Paralympian who Competed in Rio

Former Royal Marine who lost both legs in Afghanistan

One of the best paratriatheltes in the world

“He was immense!

Everyone adored him, he was lovely, his presentation was powerful, emotional and he made it relevant to the business world. Now the whole team can’t wait till the Commonwealth Games to cheer him on he’s now our favourite athlete! ”

Anna Prosser, Prudential

Joe Townsend is a Former Royal Marine who lost both legs in an explosion in Afghanistan in 2008.

From February 2008, he spent five and a half months at Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham, 6 weeks of which was spent in intensive care. After being moved in July 2008 to the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre at Headley Court in Surrey, Joe spent the best part of three years in rehabilitation and racking up over 50 surgical operations to date.

Joe carried the Paralympic Flame into the London 2012 stadium as part of the opening ceremony. He was suspended by wires and made a dramatic overhead entrance to the arena, even though he is actually scared of heights.

Unsatisfied with leading a life entirely dissimilar to that which he experienced with the Royal Marines, Joe endeavoured to gain back the fitness levels he had enjoyed as a Commando.

He got into triathlon when he completed the Ironman UK triathlon in Bolton in July 2011. He has since completed at the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii, where he finished second in the disability category in a time of 11:35:52 (2012) and has established himself as one of the best PT1 paratriatheltes in the world. He competed for ParalympicsGB in Rio in September 2016.

Joe’s positivity and determination has led him to achieve some remarkable feats of endeavour and make him an inspiration for others overcoming adversity.

Our Comment

"Shortly after his 18th Birthday, Joe realised his life-long ambition when he passed out as a Royal Marine Commando in June 2006. While out serving with 40 Commando, Royal Marines as part of Operation Herrick 7, Joe suffered life-altering injuries when he stepped on an IED. His story of what he has achieved since then is both humbling & inspiring. Joe is a phenomenal speaker. "

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