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A DISABLED veteran from Melksham has returned victorious from the Warrior Games in Chicago, USA, winning a silver medal for swimming for the United Kingdom team.
Competing in the S6 category for breaststroke, local man John Marable took second place, competing against athletes from the USA and Australia.
“I only wanted a personal best, I didn’t expect to get a medal,” said John. “I was up against men a lot younger than me, some 25 years younger, so for me who is 63 years old to come second is amazing.
“I don’t think I can find the right words to describe how it feels to win a medal. Maybe overjoyed, over the moon.
“The main thing was being selected and getting a personal best, which I achieved.”
Created in 2010 by the USA’s Department of Defence, the Warrior Games introduces wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans to paralympic-style sports.
The competing athletes represent the UK Armed Forces, the U.S. Military and Australian Defence Force. Formerly a trained commando parachutist in the Royal Artillery before retiring after 22 years in 1994, this was John’s first time representing the UK at the Warrior Games.
“I also got personal bests in shooting, cycling and freestyle swimming,” he said.
Now back home in Melksham, it’s back to work for John who is a professional trainer, teaching people how to use construction equipment all over the world. However, John is hoping that his silver medal is only the beginning of his athletic achievements.
“I am continuing training as I want to be selected for the Invictus Games in Sydney next year,” he explained.
John hopes to qualify to represent the UK in swimming and sitting volleyball at the Invictus Games, which is an international Paralympic-style multi-sport event for wounded, injured or sick armed services personnel and their associated veterans, created by Prince Harry in 2014.
John says that he couldn’t have gone to the Warrior Games without the support of the charity Help for Heroes, a cause that is close to his heart. John has continuously fundraised for the charity, taking part in cycling challenges across the world. If you would like to support John please donate to his Just Giving page www.justgiving.com/fundraising/johnsburmachallenge-3