Out of all the United Kingdom competitors at this year’s Invictus Games, Susan Warner’s journey instantly shined through. Susan is one of the UK’s older competitors, and when she won bronze in swimming, it’s hard to fathom someone looking more proud. She has overcome so much and she has still come out to Orlando to compete.
A Veteran Royal Navy Senior Nursing Officer, Warner sustained multiple fractures in an accident during service in 2009 following a 36-year career. She was fully cast over most of her body for some time before gradually moving from a wheelchair to crutches.
Susan has a passion for swimming and participates in the over-55 category. She has been working hard on her training program, which has been helping her to build muscle strength and fitness. It is an ongoing challenge.
Susan was the star of the show at last year’s Warrior Games, walking the 100 meter ‘dash’ on the athletics track to claim a silver medal. There were only two competitors in the category and she finished three minutes behind the gold medal winner, but Warner’s determination overcame her lack of mobility.
“I just can’t believe it, everyone was cheering so loudly and I had to pinch myself that it was for me. I’m so happy and it is a moment to cherish.”
Warner’s success was just one of the many great stories coming from the U.K. team this year. Flight Lieutenant Nathan Jones suffered an unfortunate crash on his bike at full speed while he was in gold medal position on the last bend of the cycling circuit race. In true Invictus spirit, Nathan picked himself up and won gold, silver and bronze medals in the pool Wednesday.
UK Team communications manager Stephanie Ensten noted, however, that the results weren’t what mattered as much to the team. They focused on overcoming obstacles and completing the competitions with maximum effort.
“Generally seeing more people come through the journey and achieve what they thought they wouldn’t, some people didn’t medal but they were so pleased to beat [personal bests].”