Fans watched with bated breath as amputee Philip Nwosu and his teammates, Simon and Brandon, attempted the Spartan course. After making their way past the tyre swing and up the slip wall, Unit 5.5 shocked everyone watching by becoming one of only three teams to complete the course in heat one.
‘Honestly, it’s tough,’ Philip –wholosthisleftleginacar accident – tells New Idea of the Spartan course. ‘I’ve never done anything like it.’
But he isn’t letting his disability hold him back. In fact, Philip, 23, has plenty of strengths to bring to his team.
'I'm the motivator,' he says. 'Seeing me with one leg and not complaining about anything and giving it a crack motivates the boys to put it beyond their limit.'
Of course, the show can also be challenging at times. ‘Jumping and landing on [the prosthetic] puts a lot of pressure on it and I had to overcome the pain as I don’t want to let my team down.’
Just over a year ago, Philip was involved in a horrific car accident that left him with only one leg. ‘I lost control of my car coming back from work and went head on with the barrier.
I was knocked out on the scene,’ he reveals. ‘I had a passenger as well, my mate. He was OK... I am very happy that it was me that got the amputation. I know how that sounds, but if it was him I would live with regret for the rest of my life.’
After the amputation, Philip had to stay in hospital for five weeks, but it took a while for the reality of his situation to sink in.
‘The first moment when I woke up at the hospital, it didn’t really hit me ’cause my friends and family were around me...It hit me when everyone went home and I was laying there by myself,’ he says. ‘My mind was running 10 million miles an hour thinking: “What’s going to happen to my future, am I going to get married, am I going to keep working, am I going to depend on my parents for the rest of my life?”’
However, it was Philip’s incredibly positive outlook that helped him realise he could do whatever he puts his mind to.
‘No matter what hands you’re dealt in life you can come back from it, you just have to change your thinking and focus on the positive rather than the negative,’ he says. ‘On that hospital bed, I set a goal that I’m going to make it to the Paralympics. That’s my motivation, I want to win that gold medal.’
But, before he does that, he has his eyes set on the title of Australian Spartan. With the help of his teammates, Philip got into shape for the race only 12 months after the accident.
‘I trained every day, six days a week,’ he shares. ‘It was painful, but I just had to endure it and keep moving. I knew at the end of the day it was going to be beneficial for me.’
Of course, Philip wouldn’t be where he is today without his family and loving girlfriend.
‘I actually met her when I had both legs,’ Philip reveals. ‘I reached out to her again after my accident and we just kept in contact and things got serious from there.’
In fact, things got so serious that the Spartan contestant is even considering settling down and starting a family in the future.
‘It’s definitely on the list. Maybe, within a year or two,’ he says. ‘She’s the one for me, she understands me and that’s very hard to find.’
Meet all the teams competing on the first season Australian Spartan here.
For the full story, and all the latest Australian entertainment news, see this weeks issue of New Idea - out now!