Former British Army lance corporal Jennifer Yarwood narrowly missed out on climbing the podium at the Invictus Games, but appearing at the global showpiece was glory enough.
Jennifer, from Melton, was selected to compete for her country in the pool and also at powerlifting at the Games, Prince Harry’s event for injured, ill and wounded servicemen and women, and veterans.
Just having the chance to appear on the global stage in a major sporting occasion was a huge boost after a difficult period of Jennifer’s life.
A spinal cord injury led to feelings of frustration and unable to be strong enough to remain part of her team at work, despite battling to keep her career.
She was also diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Jennifer said: “When I learnt there was a possibility I could be part of the Invictus Games, I could not believe how lucky I was that I would potentially have the opportunity to be part of something which not only is an amazing cause, but that would change my life.
“It will show me that I can be that valued member of the team again, and I can stand there in front of many people and believe in myself that I am strong and I can do it.”
The 32-year-old opened her campaign in Toronto, Canada, in the women’s heavyweight powerlifting, finishing just 6kg outside the medals in fourth place with a best lift of 60kg.
She faced a gruelling schedule of four events in the pool, including the 4x50m freestyle relay where she helped the UK’s C team to ninth place.
Having qualified for the ISC 100m freestyle final as fifth fastest with a time of 1min 43.38secs, Jennifer was three seconds slower in the final and took sixth place.
She then lined up as fourth fastest after the women’s ISC 50m breaststroke heats, but was again slightly down on her qualifying time in the following day’s final to finish sixth once more.
Her best result came in the women’s ISC 50m freestyle, qualifying in fifth, and improving on that to finish fourth in the final after clocking 41.74secs.