Skip to main content

‘I’ve lost my arm! Ok. Carry on’ – Jaco van Gass, mountaineer, Invictus athlete & GB para-cyclist.

Following an RPG attack in Afghanistan, Paratrooper Jaco van Gass sustained a series of life-changing injuries including the loss of his lower left arm, punctured internal organs, a broken tibia, and intensive damage to his upper thigh. Yet, despite the physical and mental trauma endured, Jaco became a first-class downhill skier, multiple marathon runner and Team GB para-cyclist. He was a member of the record-breaking team of wounded soldiers to trek unsupported to the North Pole (joined partly by Prince Harry), and he’s also climbed Alaska’s 6000m Mt Denali, and Everest (narrowly missing the summit due to adverse weather).

Listen to Jaco share his story of overcoming adversity, told with enthusiasm, humility, wisdom and humour.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • How events in Afghanistan changed Jaco’s life for the better.
  • How he came to terms with being discharged from the army.
  • How a mind-set of gratitude aided his recovery.
  • The importance of achieving small goals.
  • Why he struggled to adapt to civilian life.
  • Why he was determined to join an expedition by wounded soldiers to walk unsupported to the North Pole.
  • Why he turned to competitive cycling.
  • Why you need to be grateful for a cold coffee!

Subscribe and never miss a show!

Off the Ropes Available on iTunesOff the Ropes Available on StitcherOff the Ropes Available on Tunein

Episode resources:

Jaco van Gass official website

Harry’s Arctic Heroes: Walking with the Wounded on the Expedition of a Lifetime

Adaptive Grand Slam

Follow Jaco van Gass  on Twitter and Facebook

Thank you!

Oh, look, you read to the bottom. Thank you! If you like this episode, please leave a comment below, or share with your friends via the social icons beneath. And if you’d like to receive weekly words of inspiration, as well as hear from fascinating guests who’ve overcome adversity to achieve greatness, sign-up and join our gang (keep going to the bottom of this page and you’ll see the sign-up form).

*Pinky promise not to spam you with Ray-Ban knock-offs, Viagra or other such nonsense.


  1. Fantastic podcast by one of the most inspirational people i’m lucky enough to call a brother. Well worth the time.

    1. Victoria Author

      He really is such an inspiration. Are all GB cyclists so awesome? :)

  2. Fiona Blatey

    This was a captivating story, spoken in such a modest way by Jaco.
    To have suffered so much and yet to ” be grateful ” says everything, what a great guy.

    1. Victoria Author

      Yes, yes, it really does. Such humility. Love him!

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *