Invictus Games; Military; Disability; The Poppy factory

Poppy Factory’s Dan goes for gold at the Invictus Games 2018

hannah General

Dan Richards, a former British Army soldier, who has been supported into work by The Poppy Factory, is heading Down Under to compete in this year’s Invictus Games.

Dan will be taking part in two cycling events, a time trial and criterium, or crit, (a race consisting of several laps around a closed circuit) something Dan has been training two years to do.

The Invictus Games was set up in 2014 by Prince Harry as an international sporting event for wounded, injured or sick armed services personnel and veterans.

Dan said: “It’s going to be an inspiring event and I am feeling really excited about being a part of the Games. It started off as just an idea so the fact that I’m now on my way to Australia is the most satisfying and humbling feeling I’ve ever had.”

Dan picked up cycling two years ago in 2016. After narrowly missing out on registering for the competition in 2017, it was at this time that he set himself the goal of going to the Games in 2018.

Dan was medically discharged from the Army in 2012. He had been injured on duty which resulted in his right arm being amputated. He contacted The Poppy Factory and found a job as a Project Manager in 2013 and now works in catering while doing some part-time TV presenting and modelling.

He said: “This is going to be the last military-related thing I will do as I’m ready to close the door on that chapter and move on with my life. The Invictus Games for me marks the end of my recovery journey and it will allow me to focus on my next opportunity which is pretty exciting and I’m more than ready to move on.

“I think the Invictus Games demonstrates that no matter what your circumstances are, or what life throws at you, if you’re willing to work hard for something, you can be, or have anything you want. While there’s no shame in trying but giving up, there is no success if you don’t try. And, you don’t have to win to be successful!”

Best of luck Dan.

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