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The fall and rise of Irish Paralympic hero Mark Rohan

Video: David Conachy. Words: Paul Kimmage

Published 19/04/2014 | 12:01

"When I was 19, I thought I was a man. I thought I knew everything. I had a great life. I was playing county football, tall - six foot- no problem with women. Then, suddenly, you're this little guy in a wheelchair who needs to be helped up steps. And you can tell by the way they look at you that everything is different."

Mark Rohan is an Irish Paralympic hero, winner of two gold medals at the 2012 Summer Paralympics and world champion in 2010 and 2011.

Paralysed  from the chest down  as a result of a traffic accident, the former Gaelic footballer from Westmeath, is now a world beating cyclist in the H1 classification.

The Sunday Independent's Paul Kimmage and photographer David Conachy travelled to the Algarve to interview Mark about the next phase of his stellar career and to witness first-hand his phenomenal training regime.

In this must-watch video for, even former professional cyclist Kimmage had to put on the brakes during a frankly terrifying descent with Mark in the hills over Portimao where speeds touched 60kmph.

For the amazing full interview see this weekend’s Sunday Independent.


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