Transcript of 'Inclusion' Invictus Games Sydney 2018 video


Garry Robinson: My name is Garry Robinson. I'm here training for the 2018 Sydney Invictus Games here, held in Homebush.


Garry: I spent 21 years in the military. Unfortunately for me, I was involved in a Black Hawk helicopter crash in Afghanistan. So, sport for me has been investing in part of my recovery. Things that I enjoy about the Games is being around other sick, wounded and ill athletes. Irrespective of what country you come from, we are like brothers and sisters. I use them as my own inspiration. I know I physically inspire people, but those people inspire me. Gives me the strength and drive to keep going. Irrespective of what injury we have, we can display to the public, to the world, that we are unconquered.

Having the Invictus Games in Sydney, for me, will be the pinnacle of my recovery. I had a lot of doctors and nurses say I'd never swim, never cycle again, but I'd like to prove to them that I'm still here, the old Garry is still here, and I can still use the power of sport to promote my recovery.

The distance that I shoot from for Invictus Games is 18 metres. It's generally indoors, but for the Sydney Invictus Games, it will be outdoors. Generally, you fire three arrows, one at each end. As you can see, I have my bow, my arrows, and it'd be one arrow at each target. My bow is quite a good bow. I'm in the process now of possibly developing it into a newer bow, but for now this is the bow that I'm using. For archery, I have to use different types of aids. This one you can see is my shoulder release, so it gives me the best way to release the arrow for archery.

The other sports I'm competing in are swimming and cycling. I ride what they call a recumbent bike, where I'm almost laying down, so it takes a lot of development in the cycling leg that I use, a prosthetic leg. So between the recumbent bike and the cycling leg, it gives me the best way to get back into cycling. I swim in what they call the ISA category, which is three limbs affected. So, I can essentially only swim with one arm, so I'm swimming against guys who are double amputees or multiple amputees, so it's very slow, but we all eventually get there.

The prosthesis that I wear, whether it's cycling, walking or archery, is very well designed. A lot of research and development has gone into it. This wheelchair here is the only wheelchair that I have. It gives me the mobility at home and on the sporting field.

It takes a lot of research and development to get the seat right for archery.

Man: I'll just get you to pop your hands back for me, thank you.

Garry: So the support that that can give us will obviously benefit with the archery itself. Accessibility for disabled people, the biggest thing for me is my mobility. Whether it's wheelchair accessibility or just trying to walk through different areas, accessibility for para-athletes in general is quite hard at times.

Man: So all the green and yellow spots are gone.

Garry: Gone, yeah. I can already feel the drastic improvement. Comparing to my old cushion to the cushion now, I feel much more stable. So I think my archery's going to be 10 times better. It will improve my archery.

Man: Yeah. Well, that's good.

Garry: Definitely.

Man: Yeah.

Garry: Life for me after my injuries was very, very hard. I wouldn't wish it on anybody. I spent two and a half years in hospital. A lot of dark times and a lot of pain.

My competitive nature has helped me through my recovery. Doctors always said the injuries that I sustained, a normal person wouldn't have survived, and I was... So the pain I went through to get to where I am today... And Invictus Games has saved my life. Like I said, it's been very, very hard. I was very fortunate and lucky to still be here today.

The biggest challenge that I have today with my injuries is my brain injury. I forget things quite easily. Generally my memory's only good for two or three days, so within four or five days time, I wouldn't remember this interview at all. So I've got to resort back to... The way for me to get around that, I take a lot of photos and watch a lot of footage about...if it involves myself or what I've done.

The biggest thing for me getting back to where I am today is my family. The support they've given me, I'm immensely grateful. Irrespective of the new Garry who's before you today, the old Garry is still there. So they've had to evolve and adapt to what their father is, or partner is, so they mean a lot to me.

The message that I'd like people to take away from the Games is no-one is unconquered. You see people with missing arms, missing legs, and what they can do, what people said they couldn't do, for some of us, that's all we have.


Commentator: And there it is, to touch for the gold medal!

End of transcript

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