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Dean Knobel

ADF Service: I joined the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) in 2007 as a Marine Technician and medically discharged in 2013. During my career I served aboard HMAS Kanimbla, Manoora and Sydney

Age: 35

Hometown: Mullumbimby, New South Wales

Current town: Gold Coast, Queensland

Competing in: Powerlifting and swimming

Dean Knobel

What is the Nature of your injury or illness?

I have a spinal injury from a heavy lifting accident in 2010 in which my left hand was crushed. I also live with an adjustment disorder.

What role has sport played in your rehabilitation?

Sport and gym-based physical therapy have played a massive role in my rehabilitation. Following my injury I quit all sports but now I am swimming competitively and have been able to get back into sports such as surfing and golf which I used to do before my injuries.

What is your greatest achievement to date?

Making it into the Australian Invictus Games 2018 team. This is by far the most significant achievement I have ever accomplished because I never expected to compete in sport again.

Why did you apply for the Invictus Games 2018?

I saw the Invictus Games as an additional avenue for rehabilitation and a way to challenge myself. I also saw it as an opportunity to meet new people and train and compete with others who have been through similar injuries.

What will “winning” look like for you at these Games?

I see winning at the Games as standing with my fellow competitors, friends and family and once again proudly serving my nation.

The person I most admire is…

The surfer, Mick Fanning. Mick has always shown great tenacity throughout his career, winning three world titles.

Having been in the water with Mick on the Gold Coast and seeing him surf, the respect he deserves in and out of the water is clearly seen. Mick has suffered personal tragedies and shown true bravery and courage to keep competing. He inspires me to keep pushing myself to achieve the best in life.