SGT Gareth Pratt receiving his bronze medal for the Men's 50m Breaststroke at the 2016 Invictus Games in Orlando, Florida.
12 May 2016
New Zealand Army Sergeant (SGT) Gareth Pratt swam his way to bronze in the Men's 50m Breaststroke today as part of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) team competing at the 2016 Invictus Games in Orlando, Florida.
SGT Pratt, who was born in Whanganui but now resides in Christchurch, credits his training environment for helping him place amid strong competition.
"I'm stoked with myself for getting a medal, but it's the continuity of training that I was aiming for, and that's what paid off in the end. Joining something and sticking to a routine has made my life a bit more normal," said SGT Pratt.
This year's Invictus Games has seen some world class competition - something of which SGT Pratt was all too aware.
"These competitors are top of the class A-grade athletes. They know the mind games, they're competitive, so it was great to get into the pool and thrash some of them," he said.
SGT Pratt, who has served 14 years in the New Zealand Army and deployed operationally around the world, is grateful for the support that allowed him to compete at the games.
"It's fantastic to have the support of sponsors like the Auckland and Christchurch RSAs, and the Fallen Heroes Trust. Knowing the NZDF is behind us all the way, topped off with having our friends and families here, is great!
"Usually, when we go overseas our families are left to do the long, hard slog at home, whereas here they get to enjoy some of the victory as well,” said SGT Pratt.
This is the NZDF’s seventh medal at the games, which run until 12 May at the ESPN Wide World of Sport Complex, in Orlando, Florida.
The 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