Injured Hamilton soldier wins two gold medals for Canada at Invictus Games
Published September 22, 2023 at 10:34 am
An army infantry soldier from Hamilton overcame the “black hole” that swallowed his life after he got injured, snagging two gold medals for Team Canada at the recent Invictus Games in Düsseldorf, Germany.
Prince Harry launched the Invictus Games in 2014 in London. The international sporting event aims to inspire recovery and respect for wounded, injured and sick service personnel.
Rory Figliola, originally from Dundas, won gold in shotput and discus throw at the 2023 Invictus Games, which took place from Sept. 9 to 16 in Germany.
According to his bio online, Figliola said his career highlight was “the people, places, and things he had the opportunity to experience during his career.”
He said the Invictus Games gave him the “kick-start” he needed. It allowed him “to try some new sports and find new ways to adapt going forward,” he said in the bio.
Because of his injury, he said he had to work hard to overcome challenges. He didn’t provide details on what happened. “Mentally it’s rough, when you can’t play the sports or do the activities you love,” he said. “The next thing you know you’re just in this black hole. It’s taken a lot of work to get where I am now, and more work to go. I’ve learned that it’s alright to ask for help, and with some work you can get back to the person you use to be. For that, I’m very grateful to my friends and family, they helped me get back out of the black hole.”
He competed in cycling, wheelchair basketball and track and field during the Invictus Games.
Figliola was posted in Brampton before he settled back in Hamilton. Among his military assignments, he was deployed for Op Reassurance, the Canadian Armed Forces’ largest overseas mission in Central and Eastern Europe. He was in Edmonton for eight years. He has been with Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry for 11 years.
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