Jaco Van Gass

About Jaco

Born in South Africa, Jaco came to Britain aged 20 to pursue his ambition of serving in the British Armed Forces, which he achieved in 2007 when joining the Parachute Regiment. In 2009, during his second tour of Afghanistan, Jaco sustained severe life changing injuries, including the loss of his left arm below the elbow, when he was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade following his platoon’s 45 minute fire fight with enemy forces.

Fortunate to survive and following multiple operations and rehabilitation, Jaco has become an inspiration to many with his continued achievements. As well as competing for the Combined Services Disabled Ski Team and undertaking multiple marathons, he was also a member of the record-breaking ‘Walking With The Wounded’ team who trekked unsupported to the North Pole and narrowly missed reaching the summit of Everest due to adverse weather.

Jaco also made his international para-cycling debut in 2013 and has since secured medals at multiple World Championships, most recently as a C3 category rider securing golds in the scratch race, kilo and omnium.

As if all of that wasn’t enough for one man, 2021 saw Jaco take part in his first Paralympics at the postponed 2021 Tokyo games. To say he “took part” is an understatement as Jaco won gold in the Men’s Individual Pursuit (C3) and Mixed Team Sprint (C1-5) as well as bronze in the Men’s Time Trial (C1-3), breaking three world records in the process. Simply incredible.

When does Jaco use LifeJacket and why?

I use Lifejacket’s Sun Gel when I am heading out on my bike. I especially use it on my legs, because on my left leg, I’ve lost a third of the muscle and tissue from my thigh, leaving delicate skin that needs protection from the sun. I also have skin grafts, so I have to take extra care of these when out riding. I use the Daily Protection Moisturiser on my face every morning, as I know it’s important to wear SPF daily even when it’s not bright and sunny.

Where to see Jaco in action?

Jaco’s own website, his British Cycling profile page and on social.