AN INJURED war veteran from Swindon whose decade started in unimaginable circumstances has defied odds to become the first ever Brit to win the European Para-bobsleigh Championship.

Corie Mapp lost both of his legs below the knee in 2010 after he was injured by an IED blast in Afghanistan while serving with the Household Cavalry.

The 41-year-old was discharged from the army in 2013 before sourcing his love for speed on the ice while recuperating at Epsom-based defence medical rehabilitation centre Headley Court.

Fast forward several years, and Mapp lined up in the latest round of the World Cup series in Oberhof, Germany.

Two races took place over the weekend – the second of which doubled up as the European Championship.

After winning Friday’s event, Mapp went on to clock a time of 1min 33.06secs to beat his continental rivals to gold a day later – adding to his gold medals won at the 2017 and 2018 World Cups.

Barbados-born Mapp said: “I feel extremely proud to represent the country in my small way and even more proud to be European champion.

“For me, sport is not just about the winning. It’s about being mentally strong enough to know that you can handle situations as well.

“To have something in the morning to get up for and be proud of is a big deal for me.

“Everytime I go out there, I want to give 100 per cent, for myself, the country and for the people who are investing in me.”

The success story isn’t likely to end here, though.

Mapp’s two weekend victories maintained his relentless start to the 2019-20 World Cup after he claimed first and second-place finishes in the first two races in Lillehammer, Norway, a week earlier.

Currently, he sits 82 points clear of defending champion Lonnie Bissonnette of Canada.

His achievements are ultimately a result of a grant from Help for Heroes. That charity has translated the Swindon resident’s natural sporting ability into appearances for GB in not only para-bobsleigh but also sitting volleyball.

Mapp added: “I’m good at a lot of sports, but I was never great at one of them. To be at the top of the sport at an elite level is a very special thing.

“I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a good adrenaline rush and I definitely wanted to do it again when I first had a go.

“This week was a fantastic week. It was the culmination of an amazing year of sliding and a great start to the season so far.”

The World Cup season resumes with two more races in St Moritz, Switzerland, on January 24-25, and concludes with double-headers in Lake Placid and Park City in the United States in February.

Racing then returns to Lillehammer in March for the World Championships, when Mapp will be hoping to go one better than the silver medal he won in Lake Placid this year.