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Mike gears up to defend four Invictus Games titles

Two years on from his first successful Invictus Games, where he took home four gold medals, former RAF Regiment Gunner Mike Goody is preparing to compete again in Florida.

Mike Goody at Invictus Games 2014Mike Goody at the Invictus Games in 2014

Mike will join 110 other wounded, injured and sick military personnel and veterans as they compete in the second Invictus Games competition, following the inaugural event in London in 2014.

Mike will compete in the 50m and 100m freestyle events as well as the 50m backstroke and 50m breaststroke. He also hopes to be selected for the relay team. In 2014 Mike won gold in 50m back and breaststroke, 100m freestyle and the relay race. He also took home silver in the 50m freestyle.

He said: "Having to defend that many titles is going to be difficult! Since the last Games I know a lot of the guys have been training hard and some have faster times than me. So it is a bit more of a level playing field this time. But I’m ready to give it my best.

"Being able to represent your country again is a fantastic feeling. When I was in the forces I was representing Great Britain as a soldier. Now I am representing Great Britain as a soldier but also in the field of sport.

"I am training very hard at the moment, six days a week, more so than I did for the last Games!

"Even though I have lost a leg and have a back ragged to pieces, I am probably in one of the fittest states that I have ever been. I am eating healthily, not drinking or smoking so physically this has made a huge difference.

"Mentally, swimming focuses my thought process. When I swim I get to be alone with my thoughts. Whether I am angry, upset, depressed or happy there is training to accompany all of it.

"What means the most is the three most important people in the world to me, my parents and my girlfriend Sara. In fact it’s a bit of an anniversary for Sara and me as we got together just before the last Games in 2014!"

He added: "The team atmosphere is immense. There are also jokes and banter and practical jokes going on. But it’s all with the serious undertone that we are there to represent our country and compete."

Mike was injured in an IED blast in Afghanistan in 2008 and left with a compound fracture of his left ankle. Following two years of painful surgery and rehabilitation he took the decision to have his foot amputated. The RAF Benevolent Fund helped Mike by buying him an automatic car to get around and also adapting his home to ensure he could live independently.

To read more about how the RAF Benevolent Fund has helped Mike, click here.

 

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