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Invictus Games glory beckons for RAF veteran Mike

For the third time, former RAF gunner Mike Goody is representing his country at the Invictus Games which opened in Sydney at the weekend.

The swimmer and runner hopes to add to his tally of Invictus Games gold medals as he takes the plunge in several events in the pool during the competition. A recurring injury has ruled him out of the track events but he will compete in the 50 metres freestyle, back stroke and breast stroke as well as the 100 metres freestyle.

Mike Goody

 

Mike said: "This Games are very different to previous games. There's a lot more hidden wounds guys/girls on the team and other conditions whereas the earlier Games were very much dominated by physical injuries and combat wounds.

"For me, competing in these games will hopefully get me back on the right track after having a relapse in my PTSD following surgery last year. Training has been hard due to my injury, but it hasn't stopped my determination to succeed and do well.

"I'm really looking forward to cheering on my teammates and having my girlfriend join me out there. Behind every success is someone supporting and motivating them, which for me is Sara."

Mike, who hails from Bognor Regis, was on patrol with the RAF Regiment in Afghanistan in 2008 when his vehicle struck an IED. Mike was trapped underneath for three hours and suffered a composite fracture of his left ankle. After two and a half years of painful rehabilitation, Mike took the difficult decision to have his left leg amputated below the knee. Mike still feels the effects of his life-changing injuries and will undergo yet another operation in November, on his return from the Invictus Games.

Mike added: "The Fund has been there ever since I was injured, as a pillar of support for both me and my family. Without them I wouldn't be where I am today doing the things I do. The support they have given me and continue to offer is second to none and has helped me be as successful as I am.

"After my surgery in November and subsequent recovery, I hope to embark on my next journey into the world of triathlon having recently attended a Para-Tri talent event with Paralympics GB. I'm just waiting on prosthetics to start the next journey of my life after injury."

The RAF Benevolent Fund has been by Mike's side every step of the way, and will continue to be, as long as he needs support. The Fund was there to provide an automatic car for Mike in the immediate months following his injury, giving him a way of reinstating his independence. Since then the Fund has helped to adapt his home to allow him to live his life more fully and supported his recovery through sport.

Air Commodore Paul Hughesdon, Director of Welfare and Policy at the RAF Benevolent Fund, said: “Mike is a great example of the restorative impact sport can have for RAF personnel recovering from devastating injuries like his.

"Mike's story has and continues to inspire all here at the Fund and we wish him, and all the Invictus athletes, all the best for the Games ahead. And as the RAF's oldest friend, the Fund will stand shoulder to shoulder with Mike, for as long as he needs us."

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