Former Captain Stephen Rice served in the British Army until he was medically discharged in 2014 resulting from injuries sustained in 2010 whilst serving in Afghanistan. The 34-year-old recalls the incident: "I was commanding a foot patrol in Sangin seeking to engage with local nationals when one of my youngest soldiers initiated a low metal content Pressure Pad IED.
The blast injured him terribly and resulted in me damaging my knee to the point that I was discharged in 2014 with Arthritis and reconstructed ligaments. I hid my injuries and struggled with the memories, the guilt of what happened for a long time, and I still do. Sport and exercise are helping me to overcome those demons, whilst giving me meaningful ways to help my recovery post-knee replacement and be a better person for my family."
Stephen’s Invictus journey started in 2016/17 when he was selected for an Invictus Games 2017 as a Reserve, and then subsequently the 2018 Warrior Games. “These gave me an incredible insight into just what is possible, but after returning from Colorado my mental health spiralled towards its lowest point. After months of suicidal intention, I checked myself into A&E, trying to stop the PTSD that was threatening to imminently destroy me, my family, and my marriage.”
Despite engaging with Sports Recovery, Stephen realised that he hadn’t considered the long-term solutions and support that Sport and Exercise could provide: “My application for the Invictus Games 2020 is not about me going to the Games for the Games sake. The Games are a stepping stone, helping me move forward and beyond the worst two years of my life, pushing through my worst emotions into a future that I can look forward to. My goal is to become self-sustaining, positive, confident, balancing my home and work life with a healthy level of sport and exercise.”