By Kimberley Cummins
Time and again, Corie Mapp has proven that one’s limitations, whether they be social, educational or even physical, should not be a deterrent for a strong heart and a tough mind.
In 2010, while serving as a Lance Corporal in the United Kingdom Army in Afghanistan, the armoured vehicle he was travelling in was bombed and he sustained injuries which resulted in him becoming a double below-knee amputee.
Rather than allow his new limitation to become a barrier, through immense strength, dedication, willpower and family support, Mapp lifted himself and broke boundaries he had never even envisaged. One such was the historic occasion of becoming the first Barbadian and Briton to claim the European Para-Bobsleigh Championship title 2019.
Today, the former Corporal in the Household Cavalry Regiment of the British Army, has put pen to paper and is sharing his story in a biography with the hope that others would find valuable information, motivation and encouragement.
The 176-page book titled “Black Ice – The memoir of a soldier, double amputee and world champion”, is published by Nine Elms Books and officially launches October 14th. It will be available on Amazon and Kindle.
Corie Mapp, who migrated to England some 16 years ago, told Barbados TODAY the hardback follows his childhood and rearing in Clifton Hall, St. John, his school life, beliefs, family, racial inequality, and of course the 2010 incident and the journey of his rehabilitation.
“I decided to share the story because I wanted to have a positive impact on the world really and a positive impact more so on young people who are coming through and having doubts about whether or not they will be successful.
“It is from the perspective that I left school without any qualifications and I still made it through determination. So it is a story about trying in the face of adversity,” he explained.
The book, which is co-authored by noted British military historian, Christopher Joll, came after some nudging from one of Mapp’s closest friends, captain Damien Lipman. At first the father of three daughters wasn’t quite sold on the idea.
Having no previous experience in the literary field, he sought the guidance of Lipman who was able to point him in the best direction.
“I decided that the biography was the way to go because. . . it was basically born out of wanting to share or have a positive impact on people’s lives.
“You could do motivational speaking but you can only really and truly impact the people in the room at the time with you. So I guess I wanted to have more of a global or wide-reaching impact.
That’s when he [Lipman] suggested I should put my story on paper. I initially didn’t think that anyone would want to buy it but he thought differently and introduced me to someone who could point me in the right direction and that is how the book was written.”
This was last year, and almost like serendipity, the COVID-19 pandemic coupled with the world-wide lockdown occurred, which allowed the two authors enough down time to make the book a reality. Mapp recalled that in a short space of time the work was complete.
“In the lockdown when nothing was happening we just sat down . . . . I shared my story with him and we wrote it together in a matter of weeks. It was a lot of fun to do because I got a lot off my chest and brought back a lot of memories which I may not have necessarily remembered due to some memory damage.
“When I was injured I lost a lot of my memories, my childhood memories, memories within the last 15 to 20 years of my life. But I got back and I’m getting back a lot of those memories through conversations with family members and with friends,” he said.
Mapp hopes also to launch Black Ice in Barbados officially and make physical copies available here but plans are currently on hold due to his inability to travel at the moment.