Flight Sergeant Nathan King spent six weeks in ICU, half a year in hospital and nearly lost his life because of a severe case of compartment syndrome that resulted in skeletal muscle breakdown.
CAPTION: Invictus Games 2023 Team Australia competitor Flight Sergeant Nathan King. Story by Corporal Luke Bellman. Photo by Flight Sergeant Ricky Fuller.
Following complications with a damaged thigh playing soccer in 2017, he developed the life changing injury and found it difficult to get his life back to normal.
“I was happy to get out of hospital. I nearly lost my leg and lost almost 20kg,” Flight Sergeant King said.
During his rehabilitation the application came through for Invictus Games The Hague 2020 and figured he would give it a go.
“It came through at the right time. I was getting bored just going to the gym and I could now redirect my training to sports and make it fun again,” he said.
His efforts were rewarded with a silver medal in discus and a bronze in backstroke.
This year he is competing again, but is focused on mentoring new competitors and beating his previous scores.
“There was a selection camp held last year and I explained to them to just strive to be the best they can be,” Flight Sergeant King said.
“I told them it’s not about the medals and that just getting there is the real gold medal. I focused on making people as active and motivated as I could and that’s what it’s about.”
Flight Sergeant King has played soccer for ADF teams in the past but likes having a go at all sports. This year he selected athletics, sitting volleyball and swimming.
“For the athletics I chose discus and shot put. One of the British competitors inspired me to do the 100m run, so I’m giving that a go too,” Flight Sergeant King said.
This year’s games will be hosted for the first time in Düsseldorf, Germany from September 9-16 and will see 500 competitors from 22 nations compete.
The ADF and Invictus Australia have partnered to send a team of 31 current and former serving personnel.