A COURAGEOUS soldier who was injured by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan has picked up five medals in the pool at the inaugural Invictus Games.
Mike Goody, 29, who lives in Felpham, picked up silver in the 50metre ISC freestyle before storming to gold in the 50metre backstroke, breaststroke, 100metre freestyle and 4x50 relay.
The South East Coast Ambulance emergency care support worker, who lost his leg in an explosion while serving with the RAF in Afghanistan, also captained the swimming team at the event which took place at the London Aquatics Centre at the Olympic Park.
“It’s absolutely brilliant competing here, the atmosphere in this venue is superb,” he said.
“I was involved in sport before the amputation. I used sport to get me out of what I call my dark times in the early days when I turned to drink.
“With the help of Help for Heroes and Battle Back at Headley Court, I really used that to turn my life around a little bit.
“Swimming is my sport now, but I only really do it for social, fun or fitness reasons.
“I don’t really compete any more. I used to when I was younger, but for the Invictus Games I upped my training and thought I had better do something about it.”
Mike, who is aiming to become the country’s first amputee paramedic, said he was delighted with his performance.
He said: “It was an amazing experience. I knew it was going to be good, but didn’t realise it was going to be such a big event when I signed up for it.
“It’s all been a bit surreal and weird with people asking me for my autograph. I’m really pleased with my performance – although I was aiming for five golds!”
Mike’s manager, clinical operations manager Steve Andrews, said: “Mike was amazing.
“He certainly performed a captain’s role.
“We’re all extremely proud of his achievements and I have no doubt he has a very bright future both in the pool and with SECAmb.”
In 2012, Mike carried the Paralympic Torch and joined the closing ceremony of the games, and he hopes the Invictus Games will become a regular fixture on the sporting calendar.
He said: “If the Invictus Games came back on, I would most certainly be back for it and I know Prince Harry wants to push it forward whether it’s every year or every other or whether it goes round the world.
“If we can inspire just one person to change their lifestyle or think they can do something about their situation, no matter what it may be, then we’ve done something positive.”