Paralysed ex-rugby player to tackle East London Half Ironman

Alwyn Uys (
Alwyn Uys (

Cape Town - Former Sharks Under-19 and Maties player Alwyn Uys was left paralysed from the waist down after a car accident in 2014.

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Fast-forward nearly six years and he's preparing to tackle his second Half Ironman.

According to the Rugby Rocks website, Uys broke his neck, back, several ribs, a shoulder and shattered his C7 and C8 vertebrae when his car flipped and he was thrown out of the window.

Beyond expectations, Uys recovered to a point where, together with a positive outlook on life, the now 28-year-old has become a successful para-cyclist.

‘I realised that to fully embrace this new life and everything that it held for me, I had to let go of my past, of what happened to me and leap into the unknown of this new life, and what a life it has proven to be,’ he wrote on his website.

Uys competed at the 2017 Para-cycling World Cup and won two gold medals at the 2018 SA Para-cycling competition.

He completed his first Half Ironman in Durban 2019 and will once again take to the startline, this time in East London, on Sunday.

A half Ironman comprises a 1.9km swim, 90km bike ride and 21.1km run (which Uys will do in a racing wheelchair).

On Friday, Uys caught up with former Blitzbok star and now SA Sevens high-performance manager, Marius Schoeman, ahead of Sunday’s race.

Schoeman will be taking part in his first Half Ironman.

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