Josephine Barrett with her bronze medal for the Women's 50m Breaststroke at the 2016 Invictus Games, Orlando, Florida.
12 May 2016
Retired Army Major Josephine Barrett made a splash today to get a bronze in the Women's 50m Breaststroke as part of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) team competing at the 2016 Invictus Games in Orlando, Florida.
Josephine, who served 29 years as a Regular Force, Reserve Force and civilian member of the New Zealand Army before recently retiring from the NZDF, was almost speechless after her placing.
"These are all top-level swimmers in their own right. There are no words to describe how I feel,” she said.
Josephine enjoyed competing in sport at a high level before an accident at home, leaving her requiring a spinal implant to control pain signals to her brain, followed by a battle with breast cancer. She says thinking about the competition on her way to the Invictus Games was tough, bringing self-doubt into play.
"On the plane here, I was thinking that after these games, I would probably be hanging up my togs for good. After my win, I don't think I’ll be hanging them up," she said.
Cheered on by a Kiwi crowd, including her mother and a best friend who are there as part of the Invictus Games Family and Friends Programme, Josephine is looking forward to her future in sport, with a particular focus on archery and swimming.
"Being here, competing and succeeding has given me motivation to be part of the next Invictus Games in Toronto," she said.
The NZDF team’s medal tally currently sits at seven, trumping its 2014 efforts, with other medals still in contention for the team.
The 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