14th September 2014
ESTONIAN SILVER MEDAL-WINNING POWERLIFTER RAIGO ROOTS TALKS US THROUGH HIS THOUGHTS ON THE INVICTUS GAMES, PRESENTED BY JAGUAR LAND ROVER
14 September 2014
Estonian Raigo Roots showed the true spirit of Invictus as he lifted his way to the silver medal in the men's lightweight powerlifting competition at Here East, but says this is only the start for him in the sport.
The 24-year-old from Viru-Nigula, 120km east of the Estonian capital Tallinn, was serving in Afghanistan's Helmand Province when he stepped on an Improvised Explosive Device, resulting in the loss of both of his legs.
Roots' second-round lift of 128kg - 58kg more than his own bodyweight - was enough for him to take the silver medal, coming in behind Great Britain's Micky Yule, who lifted a staggering 180kg.
And Roots says his participation in sports has helped him get his life back on track after the events in Afghanistan.
“I got injured in February 2012 when on a foot patrol in the Helmand Province and I stepped on an IED, which exploded,” he said.
“Sport has played a huge part in my recovery as it has given me one thing to focus on throughout. I train in Estonia and plan to keep competing in powerlifting competitions.
“I'm happy with my performance at the Invictus Games powerlifting, but I failed my last lift as I struggled with the middle of the lift.”
Roots is part of a small Estonian team here at the Invictus Games, presented by Jaguar Land Rover, but the crowd were right behind his remarkable efforts all the way.
And he has his sights set on competing in the Rio Paralympic Games in two years time, insisting the Invictus Games have spurred him to achieve even greater things.
“I've really enjoyed my time at the Invictus Games, we've had so many people here watching us and supporting us,” he continued.
“It's great to compete in front of such a big crowd here at the Invictus Games in London, they definitely give me more power when I'm lifting!
“My dream is to make the Paralympic Games in Rio in 2016, so hopefully I will make the grade and be able to compete there.”