The Jump 2015
Heather took part in this years, Channel 4’s ‘The Jump’ where celebrities take on some of the most challenging and dangerous winter sports in a bid to be crowned ‘Jump Champion 2015’. Celebrities had to try and master various winter sports including skeleton, bobsleigh, snow cross, ski cross and giant slalom.
The first episode saw the boys go head to head, then it was the turn of the girls in the second episode of Channel 4's The Jump. Heather faced the adrenaline pumping Skeleton event, where contestants hurtle down a frozen ice track, head first at speeds of over 90kmph, sliding on a thin tray. At any time they could experience forces of 5g on their body and their face only centimetres from the track.
Each of the celebrities were paired together in accordance with their abilities. Heather recorded the fastest time in training and so was selected to go head to head with Commonwealth Games Gold Medal winner and Olympic Heptathlete, Louise Hazel, second fastest in training.
Davina interviewed Heather and Louise at The Jump Alpine Bar live on TV before the skeleton head to head event between the two girls was aired.
Louise said “Heather’s determination makes her very dangerous in this competition”.
Heather said “If she loses to a one legged chick she will never live it down”.
The atmosphere was electric as both girls knowing, that whoever had recorded the slower time faced the Eliminator, the breathtaking Ski Jump that night.
Heather's Skeleton Run
Louise’s skeleton run was up first. She reached a top speed of 96.45 k/ph. Heather was up second,
Hurtling her way down the skeleton olympic track in Innsbruck, Heather kept the tray incredibly balanced. Heather could not wear her prosthesis as when on the skeleton tray you have to point your toes to stop them scraping on the ground and Heather prosthetic leg does not allow her toes to point, as it is fixed.
Heather didn't dwell on the fact that this may have caused a disadvantage and actually reached a faster speed of 97k/ph at one point on the track than Louise. After a very tense wait, the times were revealed on live TV.
It was a very close call. Heather’s course time was: 44.81 and Louise's was 43.80. The major factor to Louise pipping Heather at the post was the fact that Louise was able to make a running push start at the top of the Skeleton course, where Heather was not.
Heather is now working on developing a pointed, running, magnetic ankle snap attaching leg, incase anyone wants to compete in the Paralympics in the Skeleton in the future, without the risk of the leg flying off.......
The Jump, Eliminator Training
During training in the lead up to the show Heather became the first amputee to " Eddie The Eagle" style ski jump, a record in its own right.
Training for the eliminator, the Ski Jump, was progressing smoothly, until 2 days before the live show. Heather's prosthetic foot broke, as it was never designed to withstand the pressures of ski jumping. This was a really big blow, but undeterred Heather set about finding a replacement.
As it was all very last minute but Heather managed to locate a replacement prosthetic ski foot via a contact. An Austrian ski instructor called Karl Neuner living three hours away from the event generously loaned his own, though a little big, being a size 12, in order that Heather may compete in the competition.
As they say the show must go on.
The replacement foot arrived with only hours before the live show. After a quick alignment, and very little time to test the foot out, Heather jumped off the smallest ski jump to familiarise herself. After a couple more jumps under her belt with her newly loaned foot, she quickly and confidently moved on to the middle jump in preparation for the show, only 40minutes away.
THE BIG ONE
Loving the rush from the thrill of the ski jump and the message of inspiration it is to everybody with physical challenges, Heather decided that she wanted to prove anything is possible and jump from the highest ski jump at Natters ski jumping area in, Innsbruck, Austria.
Whilst training Heather recorded a jump of 17 meters, the furthest distance recorded out of any of the other celebrities.
The big jump is a 40 meter steep run on metal slates that can see the jumper reaching a speed of 70 k/ph or more. As you reach the end you are propelled into the air on 2.20m fat long skis, crossing your fingers in hope you will land it.
None of the other celebrities, other than Mike Tindell (ex England rugby captain), Steve-O (of Jackass fame) and Louise Hazel, had attempted the big jump.
James, The Jump coach, who had step by step guided the celebrities during the show on the techniques of ski jumping, was with Heather when she attempted the ‘big one’.
Heather stepped up and successfully landed recording a distance of 17 meters. She was the first person to jump with one leg and also the first to successfully land. She was soon to find out she had just set a world record!
Not bad for a chick with one leg. Heather took inspiration from this and a few weeks later set another world record for being the fastest disabled woman on the planet.
Heather takes on the Jump
Heather had this say about her time on the Jump:
"I throughly enjoyed the experience, it's challenges and getting to know my fellow contestants. We had great fun and I spent most of my time laughing and joking around, watching Steve-o do what he does best!
I wanted to prove to all disabled & able bodied people that if you work hard and push yourself anything is possible. Life is about challenges and not being deterred by the seemingly impossible. I'm happy knowing that I gave it my all despite the challenges I had to overcome.
I'd like to say a big congratulations to Joey Essex on wining the Jump. I hope my time spent on the Jump will go some way to inspire you to take on and overcome your own challenges."
Image Gallery - The Jump, Behind the Scenes
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