Invictus Games: Olympic Park’s own wounded warrior wins gold and silver
PUBLISHED: 19:09 15 September 2014 | UPDATED: 19:09 15 September 2014
Injury might have ended her military career, but it didn’t stop former Lance Corporal Maurillia Simpson from winning gold and silver medals at the Invictus Games.
The Trinidad and Tobago native’s leg was shattered after she was hit by a car while stationed in Germany as part of the British Army’s Royal Logistics Corps, leaving her with permanent nerve damage and unable to walk unaided.
On Thursday, she saw off her rivals at Lee Valley Athletics Centre to bring home the top prize in the women’s IF5 category discus and claim the runner-up spot in the shotput for the same category.
Speaking after the tournament on Monday from her home in East Village, Stratford, the 39-year-old, who went on three tours of Iraq, said she was “tired” but “very grateful” for every aspect of the Games, adding competing was a “phenomenal” experience.
“What we proved this weekend was just shy of a miracle,” she said, referring to the extraordinary personal journeys of each of the 413 competitors for many of whom even reaching the competition was a significant achievement in itself.
“My highlight was how much the public really embraced us as a family and just let us know how proud they really are of us and how much they know we are there and they are willing to support us for however long.
“To know that we have got that support there is just phenomenal.
“My 13 years as a soldier weren’t in vein, despite being cut short. It wasn’t in vein because the public has realised ‘these guys and girls did it for us and we are here to support them right through’.”
Having made the reserve team for the Paralympics GB squad for London 2012, Maurillia said she was looking to Rio 2016 to compete again in the sport.
She said she would also continue training in athletics – which she only took up for the first time last year at the USA Warrior Games – after her success at Invictus and was setting her sights on the Team GB squad.
“I was always a sportswoman at the end of the day and I’m just so grateful for the opportunity to be a sportswoman again,” said the CCTV operator for the Olympic Park.
“I’m just honoured to represent my country and to represent myself – I plan to continue with it and hopefully be successful again and bring more medals home.”