A fitness instructor from Baston has just claimed second place in the World’s Strongest Disabled Man competition.
Rick Long, who works at Bourne Leisure Centre, only began competing in strongman events this year and outperformed competitors from all over the world at the event in Manchester on August 14.
As previously reported in the Mercury, the inspirational 55-year-old lost a leg in a horrific sidecar crash at Hockenheim, Germany, back in 2008. Rick’s friend and team-mate Steve Norbury, 37, was killed in the crash.
Rick came third in the British Disabled Strongest Man Championships two months ago and went one better in the World’s Strongest Disabled Man competition, which was won by US Army veteran Derek Carver.
He said: “I’m absolutely delighted to claim second place. A lot of the guys I was competing against were much younger than me, and a lot heavier, but I pushed them all the way.
“The winner, an American, is just 33 but I nearly beat him and I’m really proud of that.
“I’m only just starting out in the strongman world and I’m improving so quickly that I’m very confident about next year’s world championships and the other events I’ll enter in the meantime.”
Rick only started working out seriously last year when training to be a physical trainer.
At the time of the sidecar crash, he was employed as an operating theatre practitioner in anaesthetics. But losing his left leg and having his right ankle fused in place made carrying on with this work difficult – as did the requirement to keep his qualifications up to date during his recovery.
Competitors in the World’s Strongest Disabled Man competition had to battle it out over six gruelling events – including pulling a nine-tonne truck 20 metres against the clock, doing as many lifts of a 90kg log as possible within a minute and deadlifting up to 280kg.
Other events were the crucifix – where competitors had to hold 10kg weights out on extended arms for as long as possible, a dumbbell medley, and finally atlas stones which saw them lift huge stone spheres weighing up to 110kg from barrel to barrel.
Rick has also returned to sidecar racing and currently has an unassailable 43-point lead in the British FSRA Pre-injection Open Sidecar Championship. Rick’s next strongman competition is in Bristol in November.