The 2018 Invictus Games are going strong in Sydney, Australia, having started on October 20th and running through the 27th. The international adaptive multi-sport event was created by Great Britain’s Prince Harry, with its goal of having wounded, sick or injured armed services personnel compete in sports such as swimming, wheelchair basketball and sitting volleyball.
Among the heroes and inspiring veterans participating in this year’s edition is Team UK’s Mark Ormrod, a former Royal Marines Commando. Ormrod became the UK’s first-ever triple amputee after having stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED) while returning from a foot patrol on Christmas Eve in Afghanistan. He lost both legs and his right arm as a result.
Competing in this year’s Games, Ormrod had already won silver in the 50m freestyle and gold in the 100m freestyle, but added an impromptu event to his schedule at the last-minute. Hearing that the men’s 50m breaststroke only had one entrant in Team Australia’s Garry Robinson, Ormrod decided to take on the challenge, despite the fact he had never competed in breaststroke before. He reportedly trained just 3 laps in a practice pool 2 hours prior to race, but wound up winning the unexpected gold ahead of Robinson by .29.
Speaking of his quick turn-around, Ormrod said, “I had a quick little go just now in the warm-up pool and I think I figured it out. I only entered it last night because there was only one entrant, so I wanted to give the crowd a race.”
Of having Ormrod in the pool alongside him, Robinson said it was an honor to come ‘second or last’ to the Brit.
“Every time I swim now I’m thinking about my mates who died, whenever I’m hurting or tired they get me through it,” Robinson said.
“To have Mark beside me was very emotional.”
Quotes courtesy of The Daily Mail.
So @MarkOrmrod offered to swim in the ISA 50m breaststroke final to avoid the race being cancelled @InvictusSydney even though he’d never done that stroke before. He said he had about 3 minutes in the practice pool then jumped in the Olympic pool to ‘rough it out’. He won gold 🥇 pic.twitter.com/nGoJPchqzu
— John Danks (@johnjdanks) October 24, 2018