CPL Kelly Whittle celebrates her bronze medal in the discus event at the 2016 Invictus Games.
11 May 2016
A New Zealand Army medic, Corporal (CPL) Kelly Whittle, took out bronze for discus today as part of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) team competing at the 2016 Invictus Games in Orlando, Florida.
CPL Whittle, who won silver for the same event in the 2014 Games, faced an even tougher field during today's competition.
"The other competitors were much stronger this year, they came out and smashed it!
"It's not quite the colour I wanted, but it’s all about participating - I'm stoked with the success," said CPL Whittle.
The Canterbury local, who has served for more than 13 years in the New Zealand Army, was cheered on by family and friends as she took the podium.
Michelle Leonard, CPL Whittle's mother, who was first to greet her following her win, said, "I am so proud of Kelly. To me, it doesn't matter what colour the medal is, it's about seeing her do her best, even through her recovery."
CPL Whittle injured her hip while helping a wounded Afghan local in Baghak, Afghanistan, and later injured her shoulder in a fall. She credits the Invictus Games as an important part of her personal journey.
"Mentally, the Invictus Games has made a huge difference for me. Using sport as part of my recovery has had a massive impact, it gives me a goal - something to work towards," said CPL Whittle.
This success takes the Kiwi competitors’ medal haul to five - with further medals to be contested over the coming days.
The Invictus Games run until 12 May at the ESPN Wide World of Sport Complex, in Orlando, Florida.
The NZDF 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 Facebook.com/InvictusGamesNZ
For further information, please contact Defence Public Affairs on 021 487 980