Invictus Games Athlete Profile – Brooke Mead
ADF service: I joined the Royal Australian Navy as a Communication Information Systems Sailor at age 18 in 2012. As a Patrol Boat Sailor, I spent much of my service being deployed on Operation Resolute (Australia’s effort to protect our borders and offshore maritime interests). I was medically discharged in 2016.
Home town: Taree, New South Wales
Current town: North Brisbane, Queensland
Competing in: Indoor rowing, powerlifting and swimming
What is the nature of your injury or illness? I battle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression from body recoveries and search and rescues during my service. I suffered a spinal cord injury that deteriorated to the extent I required a spinal cord stimulator to be implanted.
What role has sport played in your rehabilitation? Sport has helped me regain control of my life and to realise my self-worth. Before returning to sport, I was on a path of self-destruction. Today, I can confidently say I am the best version of myself. For me, sport is non-negotiable and acts as a guiding compass towards achieving my goals and visions.
Sport background: Sport was the foundation of my childhood; I grew up playing netball, touch football and swimming. While I was serving, I was on the navy dragon boating team. I am now dedicated to CrossFit, strength training, and indoor rowing.
Why did you apply for Invictus Games? For the better part of a decade, the physical pain and mental anguish ensued from my injuries was debilitating. I allowed myself to employ a victim mentality, and my life was at a standstill; this was unacceptable. I needed a challenge so great that it would have the ability to change my life; for me, that would be the Invictus Games.
What will success look like for you at the Games? As I continue my ascent from rock bottom, I have given myself no option but to win. Success at the Invictus Games isn’t a gold medal, it is firmly believing I have been relentless in my pursuit for personal growth. I have failed at too many things in my life and I will not let this be another.
What does unconquered mean to you? Sometimes we lose ourselves for a while, and that’s okay; so long as we do not accept defeat, only then are we truly unconquered.