A determined young man’s dream of competing in the Paralympics has been given an astonishing boost – from a global TV chat show idol.
Josh Landmann, 22, was left partially paralysed in 2014 when he damaged vertebrae in his neck after he dived into a swimming pool while on holiday in Ibiza.
A video of Josh, from Knott End, attempting to get over the ‘Everest’ wall during a Tough Mudder competition shot him to fame last year.
But now his status has risen further - after he and dad Neil were flown to Los Angeles to appear on the Ellen Degeneres show, one of America’s biggest talk shows.
During the show, he was given a £25,000 cheque to help fund his dream of competing in the paratriathlon in the Tokyo Paralympics in 2020 and Winter Paralympics as a sit skier in 2022.
A video of his appearance on Ellen - aired in the States on Tuesday - has been viewed almost two million times.
Former Rossall School pupil Josh, who was ski training in Colorado when he got a call from the show’s producers at the time, was flown to Los Angeles while dad Neil flew in from the UK for the recording in front of a live audience on December 12.
And Josh, who works in Kirkham, said the experience was ‘mental’.
He said: “It was surreal. I had watched some of the Ellen show before but I had no idea I was going to get the money, which was donated by Walmart.
“It will be a massive help and I can now get the right equipment and go away and get the best training to get to where I want to be and that’s to be selected for Tokyo in two years time.
“The response has been incredible and hopefully it’s opened a few eyes to what athletes with disabilities can do.”
Neil said: “It was great fun and to say all this has come from a day out doing an obstacle course...it’s just amazing.
“Ellen is a massive show and I didn’t realise how big it was until we told people.
“People just love his story and we are so proud of him.”
The paratriathlon involves a 750m swim, 20k handbike leg and a 5k wheelchair push.