While many of us count down the days until the biggest sporting event of the year kicks off, the Olympic Games in Rio, for some Australian athletes, their major event has already been run and won.
Local Medowie resident, Ade Rolfe, is one such athlete who has just competed at the games of his life.
Ade was a member of the Australian team that recently returned from the Invictus Games in Orlando, USA.
Made famous through the games’ ambassador, Prince Harry, the Invictus Games were established to give Service men and women, who have been wounded, injured or sick, an opportunity to compete in a variety of sporting events, similar to the Paralympics.
Men and Women from across the world take part in the competition, held annually in various locations across the globe.
A member of the Royal Australian Air Force, based in Williamtown, Rolfe represented his adopted country in a number of sports, from swimming and athletics, to wheelchair rugby and floor volleyball.
Originally from England, where he served in the British Royal Air Force and having been deployed several times to Afghanistan and Iraq, Rolfe migrated to Australia six years ago.
Rolfe said he was motivated to join the Australian Invictus Games Team after missing out on the 2014 games in London.
He took part in the USA Games during 2015 and 2016 to gain experience for these world games.
When asked what the greatest highlights were for him during these recent games, Rolfe replied, “Seeing my team mates who were worse off than me compete and achieve medals and personal bests.”[clear-line]
“It was great just sharing this experience together.”
So where to now for Ade Rolfe?
“Looking at how infant our teams were in some sports, we now want to train hard at our local clubs then come together as a stronger Australian team and be a force to be reckoned with in Toronto.”
The next Invictus Games will be held in September 2017, in Toronto, Canada.
By Jenny BAXTER