AS this year’s Paralympics-style Invictus Games was launched in grand style at Buckingham Palace last week by Prince Harry, an athlete from Haslemere is aiming for gold.
Andy Kelsey, 37, is among 110 elite sportsmen taking part in the event for injured members of the armed forces, who have been selected to take part in the acclaimed sporting extravaganza in Orlando, Florida, next month.
Competing in the two cycling events at the 2016 Invictus Games, a time trial and road race, Andy who was injured while on duty serving with the RAF, in Spain, in 2004, has turned his life around since his devastating injuries.
The serviceman, who sustained damage to his spinal cord resulting in paralysis of all four limbs and a minor brain injury, used cycling as part of his rehabilitation and later became a member of the Great Britain cycling team.
“Cycling has always been an important part of my life but now it has the added benefit of combating the effects of my injuries, enabling me to lead a more normal life.”
Married to Lana, with a three-year-old daughter Elsa, the pressure was on Andy to qualify for the games when it was announced they would be held at Florida’s Disney World.
“I was told by Lana and Elsa to increase my training and make sure I was selected for the team,” said an excited Andy, who was at Buckingham Palace for the unveiling of the 2016 team.
Launched by Prince Harry in 2014, Andy competed in the inaugural games winning two silver medals. This year he hopes to go one better and come home with the gold.
The Invictus Games will take place between Sunday, May 8, and Thursday, May 12, with coverage each night on BBC1.