A former Royal Anglian soldier from Stanton has become Britain’s first gold medallist in the Invictus Games.
Alex Tate had the lower part of his left leg blown off while serving in Afghanistan in 2012 and is now proving himself a top class athlete competing in the Invictus Games in London aimed to promote excellence among injured servicemen and women.
The 24-year-old was selected as part of team GB and today took gold in the 100 metre sprint.
His aim is to join paralympians at the next Olympic Games in Rio.
It was while he was recovering in hospital from the traumatic injury which ended his Army career that he watched the Paralympic Games on television and decided that this would be his way forward.
He had served with the Vikings in Afghanistan and in 2009 was shot in the leg. Three years later his lower leg was blown off by a hidden roadside bomb as he was leading a team clearing explosives from a route ahead of a patrol.
Speaking to the Bury Free Press before his win, he said: “While it’s not the best thing to happen, it happened at the best time as I was in hospital watching Jonnie Peacock in the Paralympics and thought ’I’m going to go for that.’”
Alex began running in January and by the end of February had been selected to take part in the Sainsbury indoor Grand Prix in Birmingham coming second in the T44 category.
He had followed his father Chris into the Army and said of his career: “I loved everything about it. It was what I had been trained to do. I would still be there if I had not been injured.
“But sport is one of the best ways to recover.”
Alex has been meeting other athletes taking part in the Games, sharing a hotel with the Australian, Georgian and Dutch teams, training and preparing for yesterday’s challenge.
He said: “Everyone is buzzing.”
The Invictus Games are the brainchild of Prince Harry.