A month to go - 34 Blesma Members selected for the Invictus Games
A staggering 34 Blesma Members have been selected to compete for Great Britain at this year's Invictus Games, which will be held in Toronto in September.
The prestigious Games will bring together wounded, injured and sick Armed Service personnel and veterans from 17 nations for the third time when competitors meet in Canada next month. Previous events have been held in London (2014) and Orlando (2016). Double amputee, Blesma Member and this year's team captain, Bernard Broad will be making his debut at the Games, where he will lead the 90-strong Great Britain team.
"Being named captain was incredible," said Bernie, 50, from Derbyshire. "It's been the one thing that has put everything back to normal since I left Service. I feel back to my old self again."
Bernie has been chosen to compete in golf, swimming and sitting volleyball, and has been placed on the travelling reserve list for wheelchair rugby and basketball. As captain, Bernie has vowed to give the team whatever they need from him.
"Anything they want, I'll be there. The effort, the team work, the encouragement. They come first, then I come second," he said.
Joining Bernie in Toronto will be triple amputee Mark Ormrod, who had chosen not to take part in previous Games due to the disadvantages he would have faced with the category classifications.
"It's an honour for me to be selected for the team," said Mark. "I don't come from an adaptive sport background so I never expected to be chosen. It means a lot to me to be able to represent my country, wear a uniform and fly the British flag again."
Mark will be competing in cycling, rowing and swimming, and has been training hard, with regular 5:30am starts, to keep up with fellow competitors.
"I massively underestimated how hard you have to work and how competitive everyone gets. There are even sick buckets placed next to the rowing machines because athletes push themselves so hard!" he said.
Congratulations to everyone who has made the team and good luck in Toronto!
The Invictus Games will start on Saturday 23rd September 2017.
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