Ullapool ex-servicewoman enjoys success at Warrior Games

An Ullapool woman has won six medals at the Warrior Games for wounded, injured and sick military personnel.

Held at the US Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Virginia, the event saw six teams competing from the British Armed Forces, the US Army, the US Marine Corps, the US Navy, the US Air Force and Special Operations Command.

A total of 39 British athletes took part, including Mary Wilson of Ullapool, alongside 230 of their US peers over 10 days in eight adaptive sports. Altogether, they took home a total of 85 medals.

Among the haul were six for Mary, including gold in the 50 metres backstroke and breastroke and 50m ladies’ relay; silver in the 50m freestyle and bronze in the 100m freestyle; and two bronze in shot and discus.

Winner of six medals, Mary Wilson

Mary, who is 51 and is vice-chair of the Lochbroom branch of the Royal British Legion, had served in the army as a community mental health nurse specialist for almost 20 years when an injury saw her medically discharged.

While training with the Royal Horse Artillery she was thrown from a horse and hit a wall, fracturing her right cheek bone, breaking two toes and tearing the bicep muscle off the bone in her right shoulder. Three operations later and Mary was unable to pass her weapon-handling test and was discharged. In addition she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

She said: “I have been active throughout most of my life. When I was injured and diagnosed with MS I felt like part of my life had been taken away from me and the loss of confidence and self-esteem was overwhelming. I had to learn to focus on what I could achieve, and not what I couldn’t, and view disability as being just different.

“Sport, whatever it is, really does make a difference. It helps focus body and soul, keeps you fit and stimulates your mind.”

Louise Watson, sports recovery manager with Help for Heroes who supported the British athletes’ participation, said: “We’re all so proud of what the team have achieved. Sport can help an individual feel psychologically empowered and in control, and we’ve seen that first-hand over the competition.”