Today was the turn of the track and field athletes at the Air Force Academy. It was an early start, the bus was quite quiet this morning with people concentrating listening to the 60s music that was playing out on the radio.
It was a morning of medal opportunities for the team and boy did we live up to it. Mickey smashed the 100m sprint heat to kick start us, Corie gave a phenomenal performance in the men’s 100m and Kushal won his heat. Unfortunately Nevs, who started so well, pulled his hamstring about 20m before they end so that was him out for the rest of the games. A real shame as we had high hopes for him, despite this being his first race.
Dave Henson bought home our first medal of the games – silver in the 1500m!!
The other athlete in the 1500m race saw Simo taking part in his first competition, he said to me he wanted to know by the finish line he had absolutely nothing left to give. He did just that, exhausted and hardly able to stand after he finished, he collapsed on Martin and Scott for support. It was also wonderful to see Dave then congratulate him after the race.
Sam, Erica, Al and Simi all did really well on the field with Sam securing 4th in the standing open discus which is a new sport for her and 4th in shot put too. An incredible effort.
In the sitting discus and shot, it was Erica and Simi's time to shine. Both threw well with Erica getting the highest so far and Simi very close behind throwing over 14m. Personal bests all around.
Back on the track and the weather was really starting to come in, so much so we were warned that if we heard the siren then we should move into the indoor sports hall for safety for fear of a tornado. The organisers decided to bring the final few races closer together so that they could get through them before the weather really set in.
First up it was 200m in which Dave got his second silver, then gold from Kushal in the 100m final before Matt took silver in the 200m.
And they just kept coming. The team secured a fantastic total of three gold, four silver and two bronze medals today.
We were moved up to another venue for the medal presentations whilst the weather passed over then it was back onto the track for the special 4x100m relay race with Kushal, Dave, Corie and Spider. Three of these men are double amputees and Spider is a triple; between the four of them they have just seven limbs.
It started well, there were a couple of falls from the guys but the aim of the race was about finishing and showing the determination they have to succeed no matter what. As Corie passed to Spider there was a tumble but Corie helped pick Spider up and they ran in the last 100m together. The crowd were going crazy for him, the support crew screaming with every ounce of their voice and he brought it home.
The first ever all double amputee relay team. So inspirational and so, so, proud.
What an incredible day, everyone’s feeling exhausted tonight from sheer elation and from putting everything into winning today.
This evening was volleyball again and we played the final team in our heats, the US Air Force. The rest of the athletes watching the team got face/body paint and drums to keep morale up after a tiring afternoon as this was such a critical game and the team needed to win tonight.
First set we won. Second set to the Air Force. Back to a tie breaker to win the game – and that we did and made it into the semi-finals and were second in the table.
During the next game the first set was won by the Army and the second set was extremely close with just one point separating us the whole way through. It was 24-22 to the Army in the dying seconds, one more point got us to 23-24 then the US Army got the final point. So close.
The Volleyball team did so well, at least five of them had been competing on the track all day so the fact that they still played their hearts out is testament to their mental strength. Now we have our final match tomorrow competing for the bronze medal.
The archers are also out in force tomorrow competing. Stay tuned on twitter to see how they get on…
Good night for now.