An inspirational former RAF Nurse from Helensburgh has triumphed at the Invictus Games in Florida.
Joanna Martin (54) scooped five medals across three disciplines in the heat of Orlando. She won bronze in the handbike time trial, silver and bronze in rowing and two further bronzes in discus.
Joanna joined 110 other wounded, injured and sick UK military personnel and veterans to compete in the second Games, following the inaugural event in London in 2014. She was one of three Scots selected for the five-day competition.
The Games are an international Paralympic-style multi-sport event created by Prince Harry in 2014 “to demonstrate the power of sports to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and to demonstrate life beyond disability”.
More than 500 competitors from countries including Germany, Australia, Italy, Jordan and America took part.
Joanna said sport had become an integral part of her rehabilitation after a 20ft fall during a training exercise in 2005 left her paralysed from the chest down. She was stationed at RAF Leuchars at the time and had been preparing for her second tour of Iraq as part of 612 Squadron.
Before heading to Florida, she said: “Meeting all the other Invictus athletes at the launch of the team was fantastic, it was very exciting.
“Being selected for the team came as a huge surprise. That is what is so fantastic about the Invictus Games it is such a huge range of ages, guys, girls, people who have been injured and are just starting out in sport to elite sportsmen and women.”
She helped the UK team end the Games with a hugely-impressive medal haul of 131.
Joanna is an ambassador for the RAF Benevolent Fund, after the charity stepped in to help her live more independently following her injury. The Fund helped to pay for adaptations to Joanna’s home to make it more wheelchair-friendly.
The UK delegation to the Invictus Games – which closed last night with an electrifying closing ceremony – was delivered by a partnership comprising the MOD, Help for Heroes, and the Royal British Legion.