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Victoria Wales

Categories: Invictus Games 2020 Athletes

Former Royal Army Physical Training Corps Instructor, Victoria Wales was one of the very first women to achieve selection and pass all infantry testing. A national athlete, Victoria’s entire world changed when she broke her back over ten years ago.

"I lost everything, my career (both military and sporting) and I also lost myself; my identity. I have struggled with this aspect ever since. I have shied away from the spotlight, sport and physical fitness and didn’t think I would ever compete again.”

Now on her sports recovery Invictus journey, the 44-year-old from Gateshead is excited to be part of a team again. Since taking part in the Invictus UK Trials Victoria’s competitor spirit has been re-awakened.

“Being a part of the Invictus UK Trials re-ignited that fire in my soul and has given me a new chance of competing and being a part of something amazing. I tried sports for the first time and realised I am not that bad - training for the trials and selection pushed me through my pain barrier. I had given up before as there was nothing to push through this pain for but I am now joining gyms and clubs with a new found belief that I can do this!”

Those closest to Victoria have also noticed the change: “My family and friends have seen flickers of the old me returning, that competitiveness and love of sport is returning. I have always been committed to my recovery, I have had rehab and counselling for years and have thrown myself into my career as an Area Manager for Amazon.

Being a part of this Invictus journey has brought back the realisation that that part of me is still there and through a continued focus I can come back and tell them the the story of how I achieved Team Invictus. I feel like I am at the beginning of an adventure back into self-discovery and I do not want this to end now. I want to inspire everyone around me to never give up.

“The pandemic has been a particularly difficult challenge, our training changed to virtual platforms and I entered the stay-at-home ‘super hero’ series which was a great challenge and a welcome distraction. I have also recently had knee surgery so I am currently in rehabilitation. I have been working as a key worker throughout the pandemic, I have been nominated and shortlisted for ‘Inspirational Woman of the Year’ at the Ex-Forces in Business Awards, they will be held at the O2 in London this December. I have also been the first crew member selected for the Beacon Of Hope Sailing Double World Record Challenge. We will be circumnavigating the Globe with a crew of 10, we are all novices and everyone on the crew will have been through a life changing illness or injury. I have been asked to become co-skipper for this once in a lifetime adventure, I can’t wait!"