Diving at Invictus – From being afraid of water to swimming in an international competition!

Diving at Invictus – From being afraid of water to swimming in an international competition!

Joanne (Jo) Bradley was afraid of water and therefore, had no experience with swimming.

48728610207_3abafd0728_k-1.jpgWhen she was offered the unique opportunity to be a part of Team Canada for the Invictus Games 2020 The Hague and she saw that swimming was an option, she thought "Why not me? Why not now?"

In 2019 at 46 years old, Joanne committed herself to learning to swim. At the first training camp in Valcartier in September 2019, believe it or not, the Team Canada swimming coach Denis Cloutier was holding a pool noodle to lead Joanne so she had something to grab onto when she became nervous. The intensity had to increase for the second training camp at the Marine Corps Trials in March 2020 - she had to learn to dive. Even though most of the jumps were belly flops with her legs tucked up under herself, she persevered and carried on with her goal.
 
"If it wasn’t for the Invictus Games… I wouldn’t have learned how to swim. For me now, swimming is a lifelong sport. It’s my victory! Other sports like track or basketball will eventually be too difficult for my body, but I’ll still have swimming, and the memories from the journey that brought me here. I can’t believe I was afraid of swimming, and I just swam alongside brothers and sisters in arms from 17 other nations!"

Cpl (retired) Julie Marcotte

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