Sutton’s Alex Brewer believes the Invictus Games should be seen as a showcase of progress after winning two medals at the event in London.
The 25-year-old claimed silver in the 100m freestyle and bronze in the 50m backstroke on the final day of the Games, presented by Jaguar Land Rover, at the London Aquatics Centre.
Brewer also competed on the opening day at the Lee Valley Athletics Centre and twice narrowly missed out on medals after finishing fourth in the 100m and 200m IT2 finals.
A former Marine, who attended Quarrydale School, Brewer was satisfied with his medal haul in London but felt there was still room for improvement across the board.
“I am pleased with my performance overall,” said Brewer, who was also fourth in the 50m freestyle in the pool at the London Aquatics Centre.
“Although I would have liked to have got bronze in the 50m freestyle – if I had got my start right I would have.
“I would have liked to have achieved more in athletics but to come away with anything at all is good, even if it is a personal best or meeting guys you know before.
“Seeing how much you and they have progressed, and getting that camaraderie and rivalry going, it lets you return to a normal atmosphere.
“Before it was everyone giving you a round of applause or a pat on the back for sitting up or standing up.
“But now it’s you and the other competitors applauding each other for maybe just beating each other by a second. It’s a lot more like what you are used to in your day-to-day life.”
The Invictus Games, presented by Jaguar Land Rover and championed by Prince Harry, is an international sporting event for wounded, injured and sick service personnel.
The event used the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation, and generate a wider understanding and respect of those who serve their country.
A keen athlete, cyclist and swimmer before his injury – he lost his leg after stepping on an IED in 2011 – Brewer hailed the important role sport plays in recovery.
“There are a lot of stops and starts, setbacks and things constantly change in rehab,” he said. “You’ve got to be flexible and adapt to whatever changes happen to your body, especially as it is learning to adapt itself.
“The goal for me was to get back and do the sports I did before and I think I have achieved that reasonably well – I have been doing athletics and I have been doing swimming again.
“Cycling is the only real one that there is a void around. It would be good to get back to that but to have that goal in mind you start to plan things a bit, it gives you a sense of normality.
“You’re going from being an injured bloke, which is a big enough challenge as it is, to setting your mind on something you want to do and achieving it.”
Jaguar Land Rover is proud to be the presenting partner of the Invictus Games, the international sporting competition for wounded, injured and sick Service personnel. For more information visit www.jaguar.com and www.landrover.com