Born in South Africa, Rory Mackenzie served in the British Army as a Combat Medical Technician for nine years. However in 2007 Rory fell victim to a road-side bomb; the device killed a fellow soldier, and forced the amputation of Rory’s right leg. Despite initially falling into a cycle of decline, with weeks of operations and a loss of hope, Rory, with the support from his family, started to show signs of recovery. After a further 7 months at Headley Court, including many hours in the prosthetics department, Rory made a complete physical recovery.
At first Rory felt defeated by what had happened, but when Help for Heroes invited him to try adaptive skiing in Germany, through a programme called Battle Back, Rory began to understand that all was not lost. The freedom and exhilaration of skiing allowed him to forget his disability, and gave him the confidence to approach life with a genuinely positive outlook.
In 2012, Rory and a team of former servicemen (two able-bodied and four injured) crossed the Atlantic in a rowing boat. This took them on a 3000 mile journey from the Canaries to Barbados, the team also raised over £1m for wounded soldiers as part of the Row2Recovery campaign.
Rory took part in the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympics, where he gave a truly inspirational speech at the Olympic Stadium in front of a worldwide audience of millions and a live audience of 80,000 people. Praise for his presentation was plentiful when he "delivered that rousing, scene-setting prologue to the Festival of the Flame" London Evening Standard.
In August 2017 Rory bacame the first ever single leg amputee to circumnavigate Ireland on a jet ski, taking 15 days to complete.
Rory is also a Trustee of the charity THRIVE.
"Rory is a truly inspirational speaker. His humility combined with passion and easy humour makes a huge impact. He has spoken to the Diageo Board and at various international events and wherever he speaks he makes a huge impact. I strongly recommend Rory."
"A lot of people would have been very nervous, but Rory took the moment in his stride. He showed control and composure in delivering a powerful and moving welcome speech. Not easy to do live in front of 80,000 people in a stadium and over 7 million television viewers. My hat goes off to you Rory, you're a great guy and a pleasure to work with."
"I have seen Rory present on two occasions and both times, in very different settings, he was inspirational, engaging and entirely unforgettable. I know that he had a similar impact across the whole audience which was made up of people from multiple different countries."
"Rory is a man with an incredibly powerful story that will change the way you look at yourself, your business and your life. His sense of optimism and perspective is truly humbling. His lesson is simple, we can all challenge ourselves to do great things, whether wounded or not. His Atlantic Rowing efforts prove that these are not idle words. I recommend Rory to not only as a inspiring and charismatic speaker but simply as a great bloke."