He lost a leg, but not hope

PHOTO: REUTERS

British airman Michael Goody was on patrol with the Royal Air Force Regiment in Afghanistan in August 2008 when he and his squad were hit by an improvised explosive device.

He injured his left leg and, more than two years of pain and some 14 operations later, he decided to have it amputated.

Fitted with a prosthetic limb, Goody lifted himself out of depression and alcoholism and moved forward. Not one to lose his sense of humour, he has a tattoo on his right calf that reads "I miss my friend", a reference to the leg he lost.

Yesterday, at the second Invictus Games in Orlando, Florida, Goody won four gold medals. He triumphed in the 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle and 50m backstroke, and was part of the gold medal 4x50m freestyle relay team.

The Invictus Games, which kicked off on Sunday and ended yesterday, featured more than 500 competitors from 15 countries, facing off in 10 events including athletics, swimming, sitting volleyball, cycling and wheelchair versions of basketball, rugby and tennis.

The Games, which were started in London in 2014 by Britain's Prince Harry, a former helicopter pilot, are aimed at raising awareness of the needs of veterans, many of whom lost limbs in combat zones.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 13, 2016, with the headline 'He lost a leg, but not hope'. Print Edition | Subscribe