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First Things First: Back on the bike

Monday 10th August 2015

Jamie Nicoll is a strong competitor – in sport and in life.

He’s one of New Zealand’s most successful mountain bike racers. He finished third at the world’s biggest mountain biking competition, Crankworx in Whistler, Canada, a couple years ago.

What makes Jamie’s success extraordinary, isn’t that he’s a young guy from the bottom of the world. It’s that to get to the podium, he’d had to recover from an almost unimaginable accident.

While helping to build a mountain biking trail in Patagonia, petrol from a mechanical rock-breaker he was using spilled on him and caught fire.

Jamie was engulfed in flames.

A third of his body suffered third-degree burns and he was given a 10 percent chance of survival.

Jamie’s recovery was hard and he relied on friends, family and his partner once he was released from hospital. His hands were so burned he couldn’t turn a door handle or hold a knife.

But, as he recovered, Jamie went back to his bike.

Music in this episode is by Ed Zucollo, and supporting photography is supplied by Camilla Rutherford

This content is brought to you with funding support from NZ On Air.

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