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Stephen Rice

Categories: Invictus Games 2020 Athletes

Former Captain Stephen Rice served in the British Army until he was medically discharged following an explosion in Afghanistan in 2010.

“Whilst in Sangin, I was caught in an IED blast that not only injured me, but also horribly injured the youngest soldier in my platoon. I live with the psychological damage of that incident continuously, eroding my confidence and my self-belief.

Coming to terms emotionally with the incident that also caused my knee injury has taken me to the point of nearly ending my own life. It’s only with treatment from specialists, the support of my family and the focus sport has given me that I’ve been able to keep working and get this far.”

Stephen’s Invictus journey started in 2016 when he was selected for the Invictus Games 2017 as a Reserve, and then subsequently the 2018 Warrior Games.

“These gave me an incredible insight into just what is possible, but after returning from Colorado my mental health spiralled towards its lowest point. After months of suicidal intentions, I checked myself into A&E, trying to stop the PTSD that was threatening to imminently destroy me, my family, and my marriage.”

Despite engaging with Sports Recovery, Stephen realised that he hadn’t considered the long-term solutions and support that Sport and Exercise could provide:

“My application for the Invictus Games The Hague is not about me going to the Games for the Games sake. They are a steppingstone, helping me move forward and beyond the worst experiences of my life, pushing through my worst emotions into a future that I can look forward to. My goal is to become self-sustaining, positive, confident, balancing my home and work life with a healthy level of sport and exercise.

“Training through COVID has been pretty tough. I haven’t had the luxury of a rower at home or the ability to run / use a bike so my opportunities have been limited! However, being able to get into the gym recently has been fantastic! My youngest son was born in February 2021 and he’s just been the biggest motivator along with my other two boys. They keep me going and provide all the energy I need to keep pushing forward!”