John McAvoy is a former criminal who used sports to start over from scratch after ten years in prison. At the age of 18, he was first arrested for armed robbery, a crime considered extremely serious in England. After his parole, he committed the same crime again.
At the age of 22, he was already in the UK’s most famous prison: Belmarsh. A place that has earned the nickname “British Guantanamo” for being the destination of terrorists, many of them linked to radical Islamic groups.
John’s good behavior resulted in less controlled prisons. He now has access to the gym and TV. Even one night, when he saw the news, he finally realized the potential fate of a criminal: Aaron Cloud, John’s best friend, died in a car accident during a police escape in the Netherlands.
In the midst of the pain of the loss, he began emptying his regret into a device called a potentiometer. He inadvertently discovered an unusual talent and an unexpected friend. The employee was Darren Davies, a prison warden and physical education teacher.
In 16 months, John broke eight British records and three world records, including one endurance record, in a 24-hour race. In late 2012, he went on probation, determined to become a professional athlete.
John is betting on a sport in which the resistance speaks louder, “Iron Man”: he fixes by riding a 180-kilometer bike, 42 runs, and nearly four swims. At 38 years old, the English player is a professional triathlon, with ambitious sponsors and career goals.