Former soldier from Suffolk wins Invictus Games gold
- Credit: Archant
A former soldier from Bury St Edmunds has described the “incredible” atmosphere at the Invictus Games in Sydney after winning a gold and bronze medal.
Alex Tate, 28, secured gold in the men’s IJ1 long jump on Thursday, before picking up bronze in the men’s IT1 100m the following day.
The former army private took part in the first Invictus Games in London four years ago – winning Britain’s first gold in the IT1 100m – for single or double amputees below the knee.
Alex lost his left leg after being struck by an improvised explosive device while on patrol with the Royal Anglian First Battalion in Afghanistan in 2012.
Alex’s cousin, Matthew Tate, was also part of the British team at the games and competed in the powerlifting earlier in the week.
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The games, which inspire recovery, rehabilitation and understanding of military sacrifice, took place from October 20-27.
Speaking after the 100m final, Alex said: “The atmosphere today was just incredible.
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“I couldn’t hear myself think with all the screaming going on. We had the full Tate team there today.”
Cousin Matthew Tate – who was injured just four days after Alex in Afghanistan – described the day as “amazing”.
Alex took part in the inaugural Invictus Games in London in 2014 shortly after being discharged from the army, and is aiming for the Paralympics in 2020.
Team UK competed in 11 sports over the course of the games, which are athletics, archery, wheelchair basketball, cycling, powerlifting, indoor rowing, wheelchair rugby, swimming, sitting volleyball, wheelchair tennis and a new sport for 2018, sailing.
A team of 72 wounded, injured and sick (WIS) serving military personnel and veterans – 64% of whom were new to Invictus – were selected to represent the UK at the games.
More hopefuls than ever before, 451 WIS military personnel and veterans, trialled for a spot on Team UK in April.
The trials earlier this year were attended by HRH Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, in one of their last joint appearances before the royal wedding.
The aim of Invictus – which means “unconquered” in Latin – is to harness the power of sport and generate a wider understanding and respect for those who serve their country.