MAJ Craig Wilson after his double gold in the indoor rowing events.
28 September 2017
The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) Invictus Games Team is well on the way to their most successful Invictus Games yet.
After day five, the NZDF Invictus Games Team has a total of ten medals, with two days of the competition to go. Last year’s team won a total of nine medals.
New Zealand Army Reserve Staff Sergeant Vanessa Bawden-Pere won the team’s first gold medal in the Women’s Midweight Powerlifting. Following the win, the NZDF Invictus Games team debuted the Invictus Games haka.
New Zealand Army’s Major Craig Wilson won double gold in the indoor rowing events taking out both of the Men’s IR3 events; the four minute endurance and the one minute sprint.
Major Wilson said he was glad the hard work had paid off.
“Invictus to me represents getting over setbacks, difficulties and barriers. It takes the core resilience that is at the foundation of the NZDF. Many of my team and my fellow competitors have adapted, overcome and are going from strength to strength.
“Learning from my team and other people here has been even better than winning gold,” said Major Wilson.
Royal New Zealand Navy’s Lieutenant Dan Crawford stole the show on the second day of competition, getting two bronze medals in less than an hour in the Men’s IT7 1500m and the Men’s IT7 400m. These medals were the first track medals for any NZDF Invictus Team.
Lieutenant Crawford had no idea how well he would perform at the Games.
“It wasn’t until I rounded the final bend of the 1500 metres that I knew I’d be leaving with a medal. It felt incredible to hear all the Kiwi supporters as I was sprinting down the final 100 metres.
“I was truly humbled when Victoria Cross recipient Willie Apiata did a haka after my medal ceremony, it was a special feeling I won’t forget and seeing the smiles on team members faces as we congratulate each other is testament to the positivity of the Invictus Games,” said Lieutenant Crawford.
The Invictus Games is the only international adaptive sporting event for wounded, injured and ill active duty and veteran service members.
This year’s event is largest yet, with 550 ill and injured servicemen and women from 17 allied nations – including 24 from the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) – competing in 12 adaptive sporting events. The games finish on the 30th of September.
Full list of medals:
Vanessa Bawden-Pere, Women's Midweight Powerlifting.
Craig Wilson, Men's IR3 4min Indoor Row
Craig Wilson, Men's IR3 1min Indoor Row
PO Aaron Gibbs & Glenn Barnes, Open Doubles Wheelchair Tennis.
Allister Baker, Men's IR5 1min Indoor Row
Dan Crawford, Men’s IR6 4min Indoor Row
Glenn Barnes, Men’s IR2 1min Indoor Row
LT Dan Crawford, Men's IT7 400m.
LT Dan Crawford, Men's IT7 1500m.
Dan Crawford, Men's IR6 1min Indoor Row
Throughout the Games the team’s journey can be followed on:
NZDF Invictus Team Facebook: facebook.com/InvictusGamesNZ
NZDF Invictus Team Instagram: @nzdfinvictusteam
NZDF Twitter: @nzdefenceforce