Mark and Garry After The Race
Invictus Games

Mark Ormrod Enters Invictus Swimming Event After Just Hours Of Training... And Wins Gold

The 50m breaststroke was about to be cancelled with only one entrant until the Team UK athlete entered a race.

Mark and Garry After The Race

Mark Ormrod only had a few hours of training before entering the race (Picture: Getty Images/Invictus Games Sydney 2018).

There was another moment of camaraderie in the pool in Sydney when Team UK's Mark Ormrod entered a race last minute to stop it being cancelled.

He heard that the 50m breaststroke was to be called off because there was only one entrant, Team Australia's Garry Robinson.

It is a stroke he has never competed in before.

His training consisted of of about three laps of the practice pool in about two hours before the race.

Mark managed to win the gold medal winning by just a finger tip and 0.29 of a second and was presented his medal by former Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe.

Thorpe was the most successful athlete at the 2000 Summer Olympics and is now an Invictus Games ambassador.

Mark winning the 50m breaststroke

Mark Ormrod was deployed in Iraq in 2003 and to Afghanistan in 2007. He was injured while returning from a foot patrol when he stood on a landmine on Christmas Eve.

Speaking to the Games organisers after the race he said:

"These Games mean more than he [Prince Harry] will ever know.

"Everyone needs goals and directions. The first time I went into a pool post injuries I nearly drowned."

The camaraderie didn't stop there, over in the wheelchair rugby there was a moment that warmed everyone's hearts in the game between Australia and New Zealand.

Team Australia were ahead 23-5 when Davin ‘Bear’ Bretherton, a player from the host nation, placed the ball in the lap of opponent George Nepata, who is the first quadriplegic to compete at the games, and cheered Nepata on to score a goal.


Napata was injured in a training exercise where he fell off a stretcher and broke his neck.

Speaking after the game, he said:

"I will never forget it." 

Keep up to date with the 2018 Invictus Games here.