ACE athlete Dave Watson is celebrating a two-medal haul after excelling in the field at the Invictus Games in Toronto.
Dave, who lost both his legs and his right arm after stepping on an IED while serving with the Scots Dragoon Guards in Afghanistan in 2010, beat fellow Brit Lamin Manneh with a throw of 21.52m to claim gold in the IF6 discus competition at the international event for wounded Service personnel.
That golden performance came one day after he had secured a bronze medal in the IF6 shot contest, with Lamin finishing in first.
Speaking before jetting off to Canada, Dave – who is a patient advocate at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB) Charity and former Fisher House resident, said: “I’ve waited a long time for a chance to compete at an event of the stature of the Invictus Games.
“After disappointment in not making the team for the 2016 games, I was delighted to make the cut this year. I’ve been training hard and I’m looking forward to getting out there and giving it my best shot.”
Dave’s wife Becky, who joined her husband in Toronto along with son Josh (13) – added: “Dave is the most passionate and determined person I know, to have dealt with the disappointment of missing out in 2016, put it behind him and train even harder to make the team this year is amazing.
“Over the years, Dave has overcome so many hurdles and to see him embark on an exciting journey to the Invictus Games 2017 means that all his hard work and sacrifice has paid off.”
Josh said: “He’s so inspiring, all my mates think it’s really cool that he’s going to be competing in the Invictus Games.”
Away from competing at international level, Dave is proud to support Fisher House, the home-from-home where families of Service people having treatment at QEHB can stay for free, allowing them to be close to their loved one at the hospital.
Dave’s time at Fisher House following his own injuries inspired him to stay on as a patient advocate at QEHB charity, where he meets patients with similar experiences to his own.
He said: “The support that my family and I received at Fisher House was second to none and I feel honoured to be able to contribute to the brilliant work that happens [there].”
For more information about how QEHB charity supports patients, visit www.qehb.org or call 0121 371 4852.