The calm that Philip Coates-Palgrave (50) exudes when archery saved his life in 1995!
The unbelievable story: When the South African was working as a canoe guide in Zimbabwe in 1995, his bot collided with a hippopotamus on the Zambezi River. The frightened animal attacks Coates-Palgrave, grabs him by the left leg and pulls him under the water.
Today he says of this moment: “I kicked the hippopotamus twice. After that, I realized that it was absolutely impossible to tear myself away. I saved my energy so that I could breathe longer. At some point it let go of me. The hippopotamus probably thought I was dead. “
The transport to the hospital in Harare took 25 hours. Months and countless operations later, it was clear that the doctors couldn’t save his left leg – amputation!
He fought his way back to life without exercising. “I was never an athlete, even when I had two legs. I was just lazy, ”he says. Until the South African discovered archery for himself in 2016 and gave the goal to go to the Paralympics.
Now he’s done it and is in Tokyo. The ability to remain calm at crucial moments helps Coates-Palgrave a lot in his sport today. He says: “Sometimes I get scared of the competition. Then I try to get a grip on the emotions as I did back then and stay calm. Like back then. “
Without this attack, Philip Coates-Palgrave (50) would probably never have landed at the Paralympics.