13th September 2014
AUSTRALIAN ATHLETE MATTHEW TAXIS HAS BEEN KEEPING BUSY AT THE INAUGURAL INVICTUS GAMES
13 September 2014
It's been a busy few days for Australia's Matthew Taxis at the Invictus Games, presented by Jaguar Land Rover, and the 25-year-old says he has savoured every moment.
Taxis was part of the team that won the first gold of the Invictus Games when the Australians claimed top-spot in the Jaguar Land Rover Driving Challenge.
A challenging day in the shot put on Thursday was however followed by a second medal in the novice mixed team archery where Taxis took a silver.
And, while his team might have finished sixth in the wheelchair basketball at the Copper Box Arena, he says his Invictus Games experience has been a once-in-a-lifetime affair.
“There’s no judgment here,” he said. “It has definitely helped my confidence, I have been in a rehab section so you are away from the boys so your social skills seem to diminish so this has definitely been a big confidence boost.
“My boss Lieutenant Matt Jones came down for the Invictus Games and originally I thought 'No, I’m not that injured', I said no about four or five times and then he asked me again just before we went out on a field exercise and I said 'Alright, bugger it, I’ll do it.'
“It’s been awesome, the best thing I have done in a long time.
“It’s once in a lifetime, I don’t think I will be able to do it again, unless they held it in Australia and had a bigger team but now it is out there a lot more guys will be applying to do it.”
Taxis suffered a slipped disc on the last day of his training in 2011 but, true to the Invictus spirit, refused to be beaten and hopes the Games become a regular event in the sporting calendar.
“I was terrible at sport beforehand,” he added.
“Hopefully they do this every year and hopefully I can come back again. I won gold at the driving challenge and silver in the team novice archery so I'm pretty pleased.
“I have definitely got a taste for it, especially wheelchair basketball.
“I was introduced to wheelchair basketball about three or four days ago, I think I have had about 40 minutes of game time.
“We had our first go on Monday and I kept braking and turning the wrong way but I’ve got the hang of it now!”