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