It was a proud moment for Leading Seaman Boatswains Mate Kirsty-Lee Brown of HMAS Cairns when she threw the javelin to win Gold for Australia during the inaugural Invictus Games in London this week.
Facing strong competition from Denmark’s Heidi Magnihild, she won the event with a throw of 17.32m.
The Invictus Games is an international adaptive multi-sport competition for current and former military personnel who have been wounded, injured or become ill in service to their country.
Leading Seaman Brown is being treated for chronic pain, PTSD, depression and anxiety arising from her involvement in the SIEV 36 incident in 2009, where an illegal entry vessel exploded, killing five Afghan nationals and injuring more than 50 others.
She said it was an amazing feeling to win the gold medal and surprising to be congratulated by His Royal Highness Prince Harry.
“It was fantastic that Prince Harry visited the venue to meet the athletes, but most importantly the Invictus Games is about meeting other people, like me, who have been through life-changing experiences.
“We have been able to share these experiences and find out how others deal with their injuries or illnesses.
“I have been training outside my house with a javelin that I borrowed from my doctor a few weeks ago, so I guess the training paid off.”
Leading Seaman Brown will also compete in the wheelchair rugby and wheelchair basketball events.
The Invictus Games is an initiative of Prince Harry and is supported by the UK Ministry of Defence and the Royal Foundation.
The Australian team has joined 419 athletes from 14 countries, including Afghanistan, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Iraq, Italy, The Netherlands, New Zealand, the United States, and the United Kingdom to participate in the competition, which runs until September 14.
More imagery of the Invictus Games can be found at: http://images.defence.gov.au/S20142348