Billy Monger was only 16 when he lost both legs, and now he’s faced with a grueling challenge for Comic Relief – but how did he lose his legs?
Is he still running? And how old is he now?
Here’s everything you need to know about Billy and his Big Red Nose Day Challenge.
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Who is Billy Monger?
Billy Monger is a Formula 4 racing driver.
After losing both legs, he returned to the race in a modified car and made it to the podium when he finished third.
Nicknamed “Billy Whiz”, the athlete was featured in a BBC documentary in 2018.
His complete lack of self-pity and determination to get back on track earned him an army of fans after the show ended.
In 2018, Billy was honored with the Helen Rollason Award of BBC Sports Personality of the Year for outstanding performance despite adverse circumstances.
How did Billy Monger lose his legs?
In 2017, Billy was involved in a terrible crash in Donington Park.
His car crashed into the rear of Finnish driver Patrik Pasma at high speed during a British F4 race on the Donington Park circuit.
Billy’s injuries were so severe that both legs were amputated – one above the knee and one below the knee – as surgeons struggled to save his life and broken body.
He was only 16 years old at the time.
Despite the great personal challenges that lay ahead, Billy wasted no time in setting his goal of being back in motorsport in the future.
Read more: Comic Relief to stop sending celebrities to Africa after criticism
Is he still running?
Billy returned to racing in the British F3 Championship in March 2018.
Less than a year after his terrible accident, he took part in a car specially modified by Carlin.
Billy went on to take an incredible third place and got on the podium.
He dreams of continuing as a professional racing driver.
How old is Billy Monger now?
Billy was born on May 5, 1999 in Charlwood, Surrey.
He is currently 21 years old.
Billy Monger’s Big Red Nose Day Challenge on BBC One
Billy tries a challenge that would be daunting for any athlete, let alone one with disabilities.
He’s starting a grueling 140-mile triathlon-inspired event in aid of Comic Relief.
He tries to run, kayak and cycle the epic route for four days.
This hour-long documentary captures the ups and downs of its journey.
Comedian Chris Ramsey joins Billy as he tackles the first Newcastle to Durham route.
Billy says, “I haven’t ridden since my accident and have never kayaked in my life.
“So I have to get the hang of it pretty quickly, especially to cover the distances we cover.
“It’s nerve wracking, but it’s exciting.”
These are not the words we would use for Billy!
Billy Monger’s Big Red Nose Day Challenge will air on Thursday, March 18, 2021 at 9 p.m. on BBC One.
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