Sport

'Facing Our Demons' - Invictus Games Powerlifters Prepare To Head Down Under

Competitors are preparing for the competition at a training camp at Brunel University with the help of a qualified strength and conditioning...

The captain of Team UK's Invictus Games powerlifting squad has says it makes him "feel great" to see athletes "overcome their demons".

Competitors are preparing for the competition at a training camp at Brunel University with the help of a qualified strength and conditioning coach.

Lieutenant Commander Emma McCormick is one of those competing in Sydney and she is excited to prove to people how far her recovery has come.

She said: "I had an acute compartment syndrome classed as a spontaneous compartment syndrome.

"I was actually trying out for the Royal Navy show-jumping team to show-jump at Windsor for the Queen’s birthday and my leg went.

The competitors were chosen as part of a process that looked at the benefits the Invictus Games would have on an individual’s recovery as well as their commitment to training and their performances.

"I didn’t fall. I wasn’t crushed. It was just one of those freak circumstances that oxygen was cut off to the leg and yeah, it killed the muscle."

“It’s not for wanting a medal or anything like that.

"It’s literally to go and prove to myself that I can stand out there, I can have my scars on show and I can show my family how far I have come."

Jonathan Mitchell
Jonathan Mitchell is the team captain for the UK Powerlifting squad and he is impressed by the strength of the recovering athletes’ mental states.

"Seeing the people overcome their demons makes me feel great," says powerlifting captain Jonathan Mitchell.

"That to me is more important than how I feel sometimes.

"I was in the Army for 14 years and then in 2012 I got diagnosed withacute lymphoblastic leukaemia which is a very severe and aggressive type of leukaemia.

"That’s when the battle started. The first time it did take me down to 7.7 stone from 15, 16 stone so I lost just over half my body weight and I then I’ve had to put it back on.

"Hearing me getting discharged from the army was harder than me being diagnosed. That’s not a lie.

"Being told to leave, that was ten times harder. That was the hardest thing I’ve ever heard in my life."

The 2018 Invictus Games begins on 20 October.