Norfolk veterans conquer Warrior Games
Two wounded Norfolk veterans amassed an impressive haul of medals at a sporting event for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women.
David Rose, from Downham Market, and Simon Chapman, from Watton, were two of 40 veteran and service personnel who were selected by Help for Heroes to represent the UK at the Warrior Games.
Organised by the United States Department of Defence, the multi-sport event - which includes personnel from the USA, UK, Canada and Australia - was held earlier this month in Colorado.
Mr Rose, who has been an aircraft engineer with the RAF since 1986, brought home a silver medal in the 50m breaststroke, a bronze medal in the 4x50m relay and bronze medals in both the recumbent cycling time trial and road race events.
Due to nerve damage to his right arm, shoulder and hand caused by a cycling accident in 2009, the 48-year-old is in constant pain. His arm has a limited function with fingers often ‘clawed’ and the injury causes frequent muscle spasms.
“I was always into sport and outdoor activities but with injury I thought, wrongly, this was over - this took me to a very bad place,” said Mr Rose.
“Being shown and encouraged that I can still do sport has been a life changer.”
He added: “I feel so much taller having returned from the Warrior Games.”
Captain of the swimming team, Mr Chapman took a silver medal in both the 50m backstroke, 100m freestyle and bronze in the 200m freestyle.
The 49-year-old has served with the RAF for 32 years and is currently a Warrant Officer for the RAF Police.
He has a deficient muscle in his right leg sustained from a sporting injury and two prosthetic implants in both hips after a car knocked him off his bicycle.
The injury has significantly impacted on his daily activities with reduced movement and has left him unable to do any impact or contact sport which had a serious effect on both his mental health and confidence.
“Being selected was a huge confidence boost for me and is a massive turning point in my life,” he said.
“I have gone through a period of uncertainty, becoming a little despondent and de-motivated, but I have now found a sense of purpose.”