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PICK Owen
Sport Para snowboard
NPC Great Britain   
GenderMen
Age28
Place of BirthBury St Edmunds, ENG
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Type of Impairment
Limb deficiency
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
SB-LL2
Further Personal Information
Residence
Cambridge, ENG
Occupation
Athlete, Veteran
Languages
English
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
He first tried Para snowboarding in 2013 in Colorado, United States of America, during a trip organised by Blesma, an Armed Forces charity assisting veterans with a limb deficiency. "I'd never skied in my life until I was looking for something to try as part of my resettlement package from the Army. I tried snowboarding and loved it. It has just progressed from there."
Why this sport?
After enjoying learning the basics of snowboarding, he was able to spend three months in Whistler, BC, Canada, through an army programme for injured personnel, where he trained as a snowboard instructor. By March 2014 he wanted to see how he went competing, and entered the French national Para snowboarding championships, where he was noticed by the British Paralympic team. "The British team contacted me and asked if I wanted to train with them. I hadn't heard about them before, but I said 'OK' and it just started from there. It's the lifestyle [that he loves]. You get to travel the world and be independent, it's only you that's in control."
Club / Team
Armed Forces Para-Snowsport Team [AFPST]: Great Britain
General Interest
Nicknames
Peggy (Athlete, 10 Feb 2018)
Hobbies
Travel. (Facebook profile, 25 Oct 2016)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning the Sporting Excellence Individual Award at the 2017 Soldiering On Awards in London, England. (Athlete, 10 Feb 2018)
Injuries
He suffered a knee injury in mid-2016 that took three months to fully recover from. (cambridge-news.co.uk, 20 Apr 2017)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"I don't snowboard for the medals, I snowboard because I love it." (paralympics.org.uk, 04 Mar 2018)
Awards and honours
He was chosen as Great Britain's flag bearer for the opening ceremony of the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. (bbc.co.uk, 08 Mar 2018)

He was presented with the Sporting Excellence Individual Award during the 2017 Soldiering On Awards in London, England. (edp24.co.uk, 03 Apr 2017)
Other sports
He has competed in able-bodied wakeboarding at national level in Great Britain. (bbc.com, 24 Oct 2014)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing. (Athlete, 10 Feb 2018; paralympics.org.uk, 16 Mar 2018)
Impairment
In January 2010 he was serving with the British Army in Afghanistan. He stepped on an improvised explosive device [IED] while on patrol, and the explosion resulted in severe injuries to his right leg. In August 2011 he decided to have the leg amputated below the knee. "We had been under fire all day and got the order to assault a compound after a firefight as we helped out a section that had come under heavy contact. The first three dropped their bags so they could be a bit lighter once they got in. One of them said to me just get the bags, and when I took a step there was a big explosion and that was the last I remember. It blew me 10 feet in the air and 15 feet back, and apparently I came round asking for a cigarette." (owenpick.com, Jan 2016)
Other information
PARALYMPIC DISAPPOINTMENT
He said he was "gutted" by his performances at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang in both snowboard cross and banked slalom. "My aim was to come here and [win a ] medal. It's upsetting to be so far down that table and not to have performed the way I would have liked. I'll get over it. I'm hard on myself but I set myself a challenge. You're told you can't do certain things because of your injury and I want to prove them wrong. I haven't got a choice whether I continue. I can't leave it. I'm one of those people who sets themselves a goal and I haven't achieved that goal. I'll be back." (eadt.co.uk, 20 Mar 2018; Forces.net, 12 Mar 2018)

COACH
He has earned coaching qualifications in adaptive wakeboarding, snowboarding and archery. (LinkedIn profile, 01 Oct 2014)

Competition Highlights (historical)
World Championships
Rank Year Event Result
8 2014/2015 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 2 Impaired  
6 2014/2015 Banked Slalom - Lower Limb 2 Impaired 1:30.89
6 2016/2017 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 2 Impaired  
2 2016/2017 Banked Slalom - Lower Limb 2 Impaired 1:08.23
2 2018/2019 Banked Slalom - Lower Limb 2 Impaired 50.13
  2018/2019 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 2 Impaired  DNS
Paralympic Games
Rank Year Event Result
9 2018 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 2 Impaired  
9 2018 Banked Slalom - Lower Limb 2 Impaired 52.81
World Cup Finals
Rank Year Event Result
8 2016/2017 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 2 Impaired  
  2016/2017 Banked Slalom - Lower Limb 2 Impaired  DNF
7 2017/2018 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 2 Impaired 1:06.67
3 2017/2018 Banked Slalom - Lower Limb 2 Impaired 1:16.31