First Gold for NZDF at Invictus Games

Glenn Barnes receives his 2016 Invictus Games gold for the one minute row in his class.
Glenn Barnes receives his 2016 Invictus Games gold for the one minute row in his class.

10 May 2016

Former Army Private Glenn Barnes collected New Zealand’s first ever Invictus Games gold medal today when he won the one-minute row event as a member of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) team at the 2016 event in Orlando, Florida.

Glenn, who was left a paraplegic after a private motor vehicle accident, rowed 253 metres in the event.

Glenn, who is already a champion in wheelchair tennis, said "It's an incredibly exciting experience. This isn’t a sport I competed in before joining the team. In fact, today's win was only my seventh time on a rowing machine."

Although residing in Christchurch, Glenn calls Green Island, Dunedin his home. His wife, Diana and daughter, Olivia were there to share his victory.

"I couldn't be here without their support, the support of our team and our sponsors back home who helped us take part in this incredible event.

"I hope I have made them proud," said Glenn.

On receiving his gold, the Kiwi supporters in the stands burst into a spontaneous and celebratory haka, bringing the arena to its feet.

Indoor rowing is one of the Invictus Games’ most vocal sports, with crowds cheering loudly as virtual boats show each competitor's position on a giant screen above the competition arena.

The Invictus Games run until 12 May at the ESPN Wide World of Sport Complex, in Orlando, Florida.

The NZDF Invictus Games team is sponsored by the Auckland RSA and Christchurch Memorial RSA, BLK Sport, Fulton Hogan, OffLimits Trust and the Fallen Heroes Trust.

The team's journey can be followed on


For further information, please contact Defence Public Affairs on 021 487 980

This page was last reviewed on 12 May 2016.