The last day of the Invictus Games meant a return to the Mattamy Athletic Centre for the knockout games of wheelchair basketball. Having qualified from their group with a 100 per cent record, the UK Team came up against a formidable Dutch side containing several Paralympians. Ultimately, despite a spirited showing from coach Scott Wallace’s side, the Netherlands had too much quality on the day.
It meant one last match against Denmark, this time for the bronze medal. Any feelings of disappointment from their earlier match were quickly put to bed by the UK Team. A fine performance in front of a passionate crowd brought a 25-14 victory.
Paul ‘Bulldog’ Guest was full of pride for the team as they collected their hard-earned medals.
“To be coming home with this medal around my neck is a massive achievement, said Paul. “When I started my Invictus journey I didn’t think I would make it and wasn’t worthy or capable enough. But this team has surrounded and supported me since day one. We lift each other to be the best we can,” he said.
Reflecting on what the Invictus Games has done for him, he added: “It’s given me my purpose in life back. It makes you believe in yourself again and gives you that lift.
“If you’re thinking of applying for Sydney 2018, go for it. Even if you’re not selected, you’ll be part of a family again and be back amongst people who are all there to help each other.”
The closing ceremony marked the finish of the Invictus Games Toronto 2017 with the UK Team, including family and friends, celebrating the week’s achievements.
The crowd was treated to highlights from the last week and performances from Bruce Springsteen, Bryan Adams and Kelly Clarkson among others.
Two special awards were presented with the UK’s Mark Ormrod receiving the Jaguar Award for Outstanding Performance. Mark, who lost three limbs in an IED blast 10 years ago, competed in athletics, cycling and swimming, winning medals in the latter two sports.
Team Afghanistan was presented with the Landrover Above and Beyond Award for their achievements during the Games.
Prince Harry’s closing speech set a precedence for the future, looking forward: "Let me issue you a challenge," he said. "Don't just move on from these Games with happy memories. Instead, make an Invictus goal for yourselves.
"Let the examples of service and resilience that you have seen inspire you to take action to improve something big or small, in your life, for your family or in your community," the prince said. "It doesn't matter how big or small your step is — just take it."
Thursday 15 March 2018Athletes on the Paralympic Inspiration Programme have continued their education in PyeongChang on what it take to be a successful elite athlete.
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