Double amputee from King’s Lynn is keen to shine at inaugural Invictus Games
- Credit: Archant
Hand cyclist Steve Arnold wants to use the Invictus Games as a springboard to realising his Paralympics dream.
The 35-year-old is targeting two medals at the London showcase which will see more than 400 competitors – all of whom are current or former members of the Armed Forces that have suffered injury while serving – from 13 nations battle it out for sporting glory at the Olympic Park.
Arnold, from King's Lynn, will take part in Saturday's time trial and 70km road race and is determined to show why he become part of Great Britain's Development Team ahead of Rio 2016.
My aims are to be on that podium twice, whatever colour the medal is. Hopefully that will happen. But I also want to enjoy the occassion,' said Arnold.
'My ultimate goal is still to compete at a Paralympics. 2016 might come too soon. 2020 is is a bit more realistic. But if I do well here then Rio could happen. There's still a long way to go before that and there's some amazing athletes out there.'
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The former army staff sergeant took up the sport at Headley Court rehabilitation centre in May 2011 after losing both his legs when he stepped on an improvised explosive device while on tour in Afghanistan. He is among 130 Brits who will take part in the five-day celebration, which starts with an opening ceremony this evening.
The double amputee admits it's going to be an amazing experience for all of those involved in the inaugural Paralympics-style feast of sport, backed by the charity Help for Heroes, to be a part of.
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Arnold, who moved to Wiltshire last year, added: 'We never really get to mix with other injured and ex-servicemen and women from other countries. We've got Australian, Georgian and German athletes staying in our hotel. We've all sat there talking to each other about our injuries, how they happened, and how they get treated in their own country. It's been really interesting.
'Some can't be classified (for Paralympics) because there injuries are perhaps not deemed to be serious enough. But they can come to this event and take part. It's a massive help in the recovery process. To be at the Olympic Park, where the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics were held, well you don't get many chances to do something like that.'