The Real Heroes Of The Invictus Games

In addition to the athletes, their coaches, their families and supporters, and England’s Prince Harry, there are another set of heroes who helped make the third Invictus Games the success that they were: the safety marshals.

Though not an official term, these safety marshals are the individuals who make sure the equipment used by the athletes are in proper working order. Many of the competing athletes suffer from physical injuries such as spinal cord injuries and orthopedic injuries and require special equipment for mobility. According to a story on CBC.ca, two gentlemen – Dave Caldwell and Gary Sjonnesen – have lent their talents to make sure wheelchair tires are full and firm, straps are secure and every prosthetic is functioning at peak performance.

Inspired by Injury

Caldwell got involved in maintaining wheelchairs after his son broke his neck during a diving accident. His son had to have surgery to his vertebrae. While recovering, his son was inspired to remain active, and couldn’t wait to get into a wheelchair. After seeing his son’s excitement, Caldwell couldn’t help but get involved as well.

"These guys are geared up to play and they all love playing, so it's kind of important for me to get them back in," Caldwell told CBC.ca. "That's my number one thing — to keep them playing."

Supporting Their Athletes

Sjonnesen is the director of professional clinical services at Ottobock Canada, a company that provides orthotic services for the Invictus Games. Anthony Pone, an American athlete who won gold medals in shotput and discus, thanked the company for their work. Pone uses their prosthetic legs for movement.

"All of these devices are mechanical and they're prone to breakage and failure, especially at these high-impact events," Sjonnesen told CBC.ca. "So they need support when something goes wrong, and we're here to do that."

Using The Right Equipment

If you are suffering from a spinal cord injury, having the proper equipment is essential to your recovery. The right wheelchair, leg brace or prosthetic support can help you return to your normal routine with minimal alterations.

After you have suffered a spinal cord injury, determining a healthy quality of life includes making sure you have access to the proper equipment you need to aid your recovery. A personal injury lawyer can help you calculate what your future needs may be, and provide you with assistance and support in identifying a reasonable value for compensation.

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