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Extraordinary courage and pride from Defence champions at Invictus Games

2017 09 26 Invictus

Aussie Defence champions are showing extraordinary courage, bravery, dedication and pride at the Invictus Games in Toronto.

** Update 29 Sep 17: The combined ADF and RSL team, comprising 43 athletes, have so far collected 37 medals with only archery, swimming and wheelchair basketball and rugby left in the schedule.

Australian athlete and soldier, Lance Corporal Samantha Gould, will compete in indoor rowing, shot put, discus, powerlifting and wheelchair rugby against athletes from 17 nations. She said the atmosphere at the Athletes Village and during the opening ceremony was exhilarating.

“Walking out dressed in my Australian team uniform with my teammates made me so proud," said Gould.

“Everyone is pumped for the competition and to actually be here is fantastic.”

Gould said that sport had played an important role in her rehabilitation, after being diagnosed with a challenging medical condition.

“I’ve gone from just sitting at home and not wanting to do anything, to being able to get back out and be a part of the community, family and friends ... there's much more to living life.” she said.

The Invictus Games have brought together over 550 serving and former military personnel,  wounded or injured during service.

During the games, athletes will participate in individual and team sports including swimming, archery, cycling, track and field, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby, wheelchair tennis, powerlifting, indoor rowing and golf.

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The Australian Defence Force (ADF) and Returned and Service League (RSL) have been involved with the Invictus Games since the initiative was launched by HRH Prince Harry, with teams competing in London in 2014 and Orlando last year.

Australia will host the fourth Invictus Games in Sydney in October next year.

The closing ceremony will be held on 1 October (AEST) and will feature Bruce Springsteen, Bryan Adams, Coeur de Pirate and Kelly Clarkson.

More information about the 2017 Australian team is available at: www.defence.gov.au/events/invictusgames

Images by Jason Tufrey for Department of Defence