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David ‘Wisey’ Wiseman, a former captain in the Army, played a key role helping to plan and coordinate the London inaugural Invictus Games in 2014, as well as competing as a swimmer. He went on to captain the UK Team in Orlando 2016, winning 3 gold and 2 silver medals. He returned to Toronto for a third year to competing again as a swimmer, winning a gold, 2 silvers and 2 bronze.

David suffered a gunshot wound that hit his collarbone, travelled down his torso, hit his ribs and stopped in his right lung. This led to the end of his military career. Being a soldier meant the world to him, but the impact of what had happened caused major psychological and physical wounds. He was diagnosed with PTSD in 2012, triggered by witnessing a mass casually incident, rather than his own life changing injuries.

He sought help for his mental health issues and believed he had conquered them, but suffered a relapse and received support to overcome his symptoms once again.

David dives off the board into the pool
David has a strong start in his race at the Invictus Games - Help for Heroes

David said: “The pool is the only place where I can fully empty my head. When I am swimming everything is calm and still, and I focus purely on body position, how my hands are striking the water, controlling my breathing and counting my lengths or strokes. I use the feeling of the water and the experience of swimming in my tools for dealing with hyper vigilance panic and disassociation. Aside from my wife, swimming has been the unshakeable and constant support in my recovery, and the focus for my swimming over the past few years has been the Invictus Games.

"After injury I began to define myself both in the past and the negative. So I was a wounded soldier, an ex-soldier, a broken soldier. But when I got involved in sport I had something I was proud of in the present that I could define myself by."

David Wiseman stands along team mates and prince harry
David Wiseman meets with Prince Harry after competing in swimming at the Invictus Games - Help for Heroes

David recently featured in the Netflix documentary, 'Heart of Invictus'. The documentary follows the 2020 teams on their journey to the games.