Two Fort Bragg Soldiers Lead Invictus Games in Australia

Port Hueneme, California: Members of Team US take instruction during wheelchair basketball training, in preparation for the 2018 Invictus Games in Sydney, Australia. (US Air Force Photo/Shawn Sprayberry)
Port Hueneme, California: Members of Team US take instruction during wheelchair basketball training, in preparation for the 2018 Invictus Games in Sydney, Australia. (US Air Force Photo/Shawn Sprayberry)

Two soldiers from Fort Bragg, North Carolina are helping to lead the way for American athletes at this year's Invictus Games.

First Sgt. Jarrid Collins of the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School and Sgt. 1st Class Brant Ireland of the 3rd Special Forces Group have each earned medals at the international games, held this year in Sydney, Australia.

Collins also has a chance to earn more medals in track events slated for Friday, according to officials.

The two soldiers are representing the U.S. military along with about 70 other athletes. The Invictus Games include more than 550 wounded, ill and injured service members from 18 allied nations who have been competing this week in 11 adaptive sports, including archery, rowing, power-lifting, cycling, sitting volleyball, wheelchair basketball and sailing.

Ireland is co-captain of Team USA and had earned three medals by days end Thursday -- two silver medals for cycling and a bronze medal for wheelchair rugby. He also competed in rowing.

Collins competed alongside Ireland for the rugby team, which defeated France in the bronze medal match on Thursday. He is scheduled to take part in four different track events on Friday, including the finals for 1500m and 400m races.

Collins is a Special Forces medic who opted to have his left leg amputated below the knee in 2014, after years of battling combat injuries suffered while serving with the 7th Special Forces Group. He serves with the Special Warfare Medical Group at Fort Bragg.

Ireland lost his left leg following injuries in Afghanistan in 2013.

The Invictus Games were founded in 2014 by the United Kingdom's Prince Harry, following a 2013 visit to the U.S. military's Warrior Games.

Invictus, officials said, means "unconquered," and the games are meant to be a means to highlight how sports can help those suffering from injuries and illness.

Past games have been held in London, Orlando and Toronto.

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This article is written by Drew Brooks from The Fayetteville Observer, N.C. and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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