HE has seen active service in Afghanistan, lifted the Heineken Cup with London Wasps and is also a former Oxford Blue – but tomorrow Henry Nwume is embarking on his greatest challenge yet.
A gruelling selection process in 2009 saw brakeman Nwume earn his place in a four-man Great Britain bobsleigh team for Vancouver.
Zambian-born Nwume, 33, lifted Europe’s greatest club prize, the Heineken Cup, for Wasps against Toulouse at Twickenham in 2005.
Since leaving Nottingham High School in 1995 Nwume has achieved more than most, but it is his experiences fighting in Helmand Province with 2nd Battalion Mercian Regiment that has strengthened his resolve ahead of Vancouver.
The giant prop, once nicknamed Robocop, was out on patrol near the town of Garmsir just days before the conclusion of his six-month tour of duty in Afghanistan when he came under fire. Of his patrol that night, eight of friends were wounded and two were killed.
He added: “The Afghanistan tour was a very important part of my life and I’m very glad I was able to go and feel privileged to have experienced that situation with those people.
“I was prepared to go back out there, but it’s not a nice place. We had been incredibly lucky on that tour. The night before the ambush we had been saying that we had all been having the experience we joined the Army to have. We had not seen anything particularly bad – but then the ambush happened.”
Nwume will join forces with former summer Olympian Allyn Condon and one-time British university sprint champion Dan Money in Vancouver – all with the sole aim of giving driver John Jackson the best possible start.
An unknown quantity in international bobsleighs terms, Nwume is playing down his hopes ahead of his Winter Olympic bow tomorrow.
“We are obviously going to do our best but we have to be realistic and manage expectations,” he added.
•Lloyds TSB, proud partner of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and supporter of Team GB in Vancouver. Visit LloydsTSB.com/London2012
DAY 14 | BRITS IN ACTION
5pm (GMT): Curling: Men’s - Semi-finals
10pm: Curling: Women’s - Semi-finals
1am: Figure Skating: Women’s free program - Jenna McCorkell