Five years ago, Private Derek Derenalagi lost both legs when he was injured in Afghanistan, now he has been selected to compete for Team GB at the Paralympics.
Private Derek Derenalagi, from 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment (2 MERCIAN), lost his legs when an anti-tank mine exploded in Afghanistan.
To those who know him, it is a miracle that he is here at all following the explosion that almost claimed his life.
Private Derenalagi (37) was on patrol in Helmand province with three comrades. Their task was to clear a site for a Chinook helicopter to land and Private Derenalagi was in the back of a patrol vehicle.
He said: "We moved to higher ground for a better view of the area and I asked our driver to reverse so we could gauge any enemy action but we rolled over a 44-gallon drum hidden underground and filled with ball bearings, metals and six-inch nails. When it exploded, I didn't realise I'd lost my legs."
Pte Derenalagi also suffered facial injuries and broke his clavicle and spine.
During his recuperation, he was drawn to Battle Back - an initiative that rehabilitates injured troops through sport - at a talent-spotting day at Headley Court.
He threw himself into shot put, discus, javelin, sitting volleyball, wheelchair rugby, swimming and archery, but was hooked on shot put and discus because they complemented his natural upper body strength.
Now Pte Derenalagi, who trains for seven hours a day at Lee Valley near Enfield, is preparing to compete for Great Britain in the discus at the Paralympics.
He is buoyant following his gold medal triumph in last month's European Championships in Holland where he beat Russia's Paralympic champion:
"That has given me confidence that I'll do well," said Pte Derenalagi.
"I'm still on cloud nine. I just can't believe it because five years ago I lost my legs in Afghanistan, so to me it's like a dream come true. I'm honoured to represent Great Britain. From an athlete's point of view, to represent your country at the Paralympic Games or Olympics is the pinnacle of any career.
"My regiment, 2 MERCIAN, and my CO [Commanding Officer] have given me fantastic support and it has been a great bonus for a serving soldier to be given time off to train for two years. I can't ask for more.
"I want to thank the MOD and my regiment for supporting me to get where I am today. I'd like the whole Armed Forces to support me whether it's coming along to the Games or watching on TV. I just want your support."
Pte Derenalagi will compete in the F57 discus in the Olympic Stadium on 31 August.