Jonty takes on the ice mile para swim

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An amputee from Harrogate has become the worlds first disabled person to complete the International Ice Swimming Association ice mile.

Jonty Warneken, 41, tackled the 4.8c water temperatures in just trunks, goggles and a hat, becoming the 71st person in the world to complete the challenge.

tis  Ice Mile swimmer Jonty Warneken.  (140203M2a)

tis Ice Mile swimmer Jonty Warneken. (140203M2a)

Jonty, who lost his leg after a car crash 20 years ago, said it felt fantastic to be the first disabled swimmer to complete the challenge.

He said: “I have been outdoor swimming for a while now and took part in a number of 10km swims as well as lake swims before I started to think about the ice mile.

“When I realised that no other disabled person had done it, well that was a big carrot I couldn’t refuse.”

Jonty, trained for four months with his coach Pauline Squire and completed the swim at Ellerton Park, near Catterick on January 26.

He said: “This isn’t something you can just jump in and do, it’s very dangerous and you need a team around you who understand the cold.”

Jonty was supported by a team of 14, including his parents and his wife Penny and completed in 58 minutes.

Jonty was just 22-years-old when he lost his left leg following a car crash, and spent six months in hospital. Determined to return to his normal life, Jonty opted to have his leg amputated rather than face five years of recovery.

“My friend was getting married a few weeks after the operation and I was determined to walk at the wedding. It hurt a lot but I did it.”

The keen sportsman has undertaken 300 mile bike rides for charity, but has found outdoor swimming is the sport he enjoys the most.

“Swimming doesn’t hurt, I don’t wear my prosthetic leg and it’s so refreshing doing it. Outdoor swimming is so inclusive I don’t know why more disabled people aren’t getting involved. The mantra is very much ‘complete not compete’