2017 Invictus Games on the BBC
Stef Reid Q&A
An Invictus story is never just about the athlete - it includes everyone that has come on the journey, from your comrades, your medics, your physios, your family and friends.Stef Reid
What’s so special about the Invictus Games?
The Invictus Games is a celebration of everything that is good about the human spirit. Life doesn't discriminate - we all know it can be really hard sometimes. The soldiers give us an example of what it looks like to fight back and hang on to your hope and your joy. The games also reminds us of the value of strong communities, and how much we need each other.
Which former competitor or Invictus story has inspired you the most?
One of my favourite moments was an interview with JJ Chalmers and his partner Kornelia which aired just before his sprint races in 2014. JJ was talking about his recovery and his training, and he made a statement that stuck with me - he said there were some days when he was down and discouraged and lacking motivation, and on those days, he had to borrow motivation from Kornelia and the rest of his support network. Kornelia was in the background as JJ said this, and her face filled with emotion as her eyes looked to the floor. It was such a wonderful affirmation of the power and beauty of investing in the dreams of the people around you. An Invictus story is never just about the athlete - it includes everyone that has come on the journey, from your comrades, your medics, your physios, your family and friends.
What’s your favourite Invictus event to follow?
Athletics - but that is hardly a surprise, is it!
What’s your most memorable highlight from previous Invictus Games?
It was when American Sergeant Elizabeth Marks handed back her 4th swimming gold medal to Prince Harry and asked him to give it back to the NHS doctors who saved her life 2 years prior. It was a beautiful moment because here was this stand out athlete who valued the experience of the games and the work of those who had helped her to get there more than a physical medal.
Invictus helps to turn people’s lives around - can you tell us of an inspiring turning point in your life?
I lost part of my right leg in a boating accident when I was 15. It was devastating because sport had always been a huge part of my life. I wanted to play rugby internationally. I didn't know if I could enjoy life anymore without my dream. I was angry and frustrated and lost, and I didn't know how to come back from it. 7 days after the accident, Nurse Claudette walked into my room. She looked me in the eye and asked me what my excuse was for not trying. She was the first person who looked at me and didn't feel sorry for me. Nurse Claudette challenged. She reminded me how much I liked a challenge, and I accepted! She changed my life.
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