A dozen years after waking up from a coma in Birmingham, Micky Yule returns to the city to win bronze in

There was no method Micky Yule was leaving Birmingham with out a medal.

The Scottish heavyweight para powerlifter got here to the Commonwealth Games with the best drive and function of all, fuelled by having his daughter, Tilly, in the crowd.

As the six-year-old held a home made signal studying “DAD”, it was all the inspiration he wanted.

“I could see her in the crowd and I looked for her. I needed to see her and [think], ‘Listen, your daughter’s here tonight, you’re not gonna leave without a medal when she’s here’,” he defined.

A man wearing a blue and white jacket hugs his daughter. She has long, blonde hair pulled back in Dutch braids and blue ribbons

Micky Yule says his daughter is his largest inspiration.(Getty Images: Al Bello)

The 43-year-old was bursting with magnetic ardour and emotion reflecting on his efficiency, tightly gripping Tilly’s hand whereas talking to reporters.

“Maybe in other competitions I have missed [lifts]. But I wasn’t going to do it today. I was looking her straight in the eye, and I was bringing that emotion.

“I could not simply drift via this competitors. I wanted to be emotional. I wanted it to imply greater than ever. I wanted to elevate prefer it was my last-ever elevate and that is what I’ve completed.”

End of a chapter

In 2010, Yule was serving in Afghanistan with the Royal Engineers when he stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED).

He immediately lost his left leg, and his right leg also had to be amputated, while he was left with other significant injuries.

Afterwards, he was flown to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, still in a coma, and spent eight weeks there undergoing multiple surgeries.

In the lead-up to the Games he described his return to the city as a full-circle moment. Perhaps now, leaving with the bronze, it’s something else.

“Maybe it is a chapter closed and possibly it is the subsequent one to be opened,” he mentioned.

“The individuals of Birmingham have been right here for me earlier than, once I got here again from Afghanistan minimize in half, in a coma, and now, hopefully, they will witness that and [the medal is] for everyone.

“It’s for Scotland, Birmingham, the whole country.”

Spurred on by crowd and fellow Scot, Eilish McColgan

Yule did not simply lean on his daughter to get him via the competitors. He additionally urged the crowd to cheer him on for every of his three lifts.

He’d had the disappointment of lacking out on a medal at his dwelling Games in Glasgow in 2014 and thought he would possibly by no means get to expertise that crowd once more.

But the Brummies embraced Yule as their personal, and he re-paid them.

“I wanted to whip the crowd up. I wanted to get the Birmingham crowd behind me,” he mentioned.

A man wearing black and white punches the air during a weightlifting competition

After every elevate, Micky Yule turned to the crowd to strive to amp them up.(Getty Images: Al Bello)

He admits he additionally felt some duty to carry out, having carried the Scottish flag at the opening ceremony, alongside badminton participant Kirsty Gilmour.

“You don’t just be the flag-bearer [who] comes in and competes and, maybe, same old excuses for Micky,” he mentioned.

“You compete and you win a medal and you make sure that not only the flag-bearer is a memory but the medal’s a memory as well.”

Yule additionally seemed to fellow Scot Eilish McColgan, who produced one among the highlights of the Games the earlier evening, sprinting to the line to win the ladies’s 10,000m to be part of her mum, and coach Liz, as a Commonwealth champion in the occasion.

“I must have watched that 20 times,” Yule mentioned.

“She fought back, and she fought back when everybody thought she was going to quit and she didn’t quit.

“Seeing her run to her mum [when she won], I mentioned: ‘Right, that run to her mum is my daughter. Don’t you dare give up on your self’.”

It has been an extraordinary para sport journey for Yule, one that started in Birmingham in one of his lowest moments, and now — as he suggests he’ll likely retire — he’s finished with one of his highest.

“[Sport] gave me a drive from having surgical procedures and studying how to stroll and being in fairly darkish place. It took my thoughts off it,” he said.

“Elite sport offers you highs and it will provide you with lows as properly, and I’ve had them [both], definitely, however that is a excessive finish and it appears like a fairly good time to exit.”

Watson soaks up her coming of age in para sport

Australia’s Hani Watson was another athlete ecstatic to be on the medal dais, after winning bronze in the women’s heavyweight division.

“I used to be about to lose my banana peel up there and begin crying,” she said.

Watson says it has been a powerful yr, juggling back-to-back competitions, whereas working full-time, however the bronze is the excellent pay-off.

A woman wearing yellow and white celebrates after lifting a weight

Hani Watson of Australia additionally captured a bronze medal in the ladies’s para powerlifting.(Getty Images: Al Bello)

“It will be exhausting, however it’s additionally very thrilling and really thrilling at the similar time,” she said.

“I really feel outdated typically. I’m 39, about to flip 40, and that is epic. This is a nice fortieth birthday current to myself. It’s simply nuts.”

Watson had been targeting a top-five finish and, after failing her second attempt at 125kg, she went all out on her last effort and lifted 127kg.

It was the “cherry on high” of her first Commonwealth Games experience, which has galvanised her in so many ways.

“As a child rising up and wanting to be an elite athlete, I could not do this as a result of I had a incapacity and it wasn’t launched into the proper areas,” she said.

“But then it sunk in once I was at the opening ceremony to come out and to see everybody cheer you on: their vitality, it was overwhelming for me.

“I’m not just a potato at home bench-pressing. This is real. This is epic.”

And Watson has a warning for the world: she’s solely simply getting began.

“I told you Australia was coming. And now we’re coming in 2024, we’re gonna get gold for Paris [2024 Paralympics].

Meanwhile, Australia’s Ben Wright was fourth in the males’s heavyweight division.

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