So What was it really like. Absolutely amazing, eye opening,jaw dropping, etc etc i could go on. So its my first big event coaching, full kit, part of the team, opening ceremony, walking out in front of thousands of people and press, very privileged.
So you have to understand that we took over a hotel in London for the duration of the Invictus games. You could walk into the hotel reception at any time when the team was around to find lots of guys and girls just chatting having a laugh the odd leg lying around(false one).But there is a curfew usually about 10pm ish for all athletes to be in their rooms. That’s when the coaches start to work oh yes i said work, planning, preparation etc.
Over the next few days it was photo shoots, visits from Prince Harry and co and off to get some last minute coaching in with the team. BIG surprise we were bundled on coaches and shipped of to the American ambassadors residence to watch in his garden The Foo Fighters live on stage eat Hot dogs, ice cream, drink 1 beer(yeh right, tell the boys that) and watch the band in amongst 100’s of athletes from all over the world, wow what a night.
Competition day at Lee Valley, Harry, William and Charles all sat in the stands, i have never seen so much security. So Discus, Shot put, Javelin, yep we are in the medals everyone is doing great what a day, watching the track events too so many inspiring people to chat too, even the wheelies , Joe Townsend flying performance on the track winning 4 gold medals.
Once our event was over its a chance to support the rest of the team in their event, seated volleyball, wheelchair basketball and rugby, England verses USA in the final will never forget that atmosphere, oh and we won.
Biggest memories for me were not on the track, despite we did well but the stories you listen to in the hotel in the evening enjoying 1 beer, when you have a man sat with you with no legs telling you his story , having a laugh about it is so surreal. The things that they have been through and are still going through, unbelievable, but, it what you become that counts. I can honestly say its the best bunch of athletes that i have coached and i have made many friends from that event. A truly historic occasion for me and one i shall never forget. As for the closing ceremony, what an ending to a fantastic week.
So whats next, well that would be back to coaching as normal to be approached by a women i had never seen before on the track at Bath, she said ” we need to talk”.