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Pilot Officer Jesse Costelloe

ADF Service: I graduated from the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) in 2017 as aircrew in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). I am currently posted to ADFA where I am completing a Masters of Business degree.

Age: 22

Hometown: Seymour, Victoria

Current town: Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

Competing in: Athletics, indoor rowing and swimming

Pilot Officer Jesse Costelloe

What is the Nature of your injury or illness?

Physical and mental trauma, as a result of a military bus accident.

What role has sport played in your rehabilitation?

Sport has kept me sane and fit. Just three months after four surgeries I was back on the sport field. While physically difficult, it filled me with such a sense of pride and purpose.

Military-based gyms and sporting environments have been my ‘safe space’ during my recovery. Other ADF members were accepting of my physical change in appearance and have provided an unwavering level of support.

What is your greatest achievement to date?

Graduating from ADFA with my cohort. Despite having the injury and a number of personal issues – such as family and relationship breakdowns – I still managed to complete my basic officer training when I could easily have quit. I refused to give up and fought to stay in for as long as I could.

Why did you apply for the Invictus Games 2018?

For the camaraderie, the common ground we all share and understand, and the want to improve ourselves in our chosen sports. This has helped me in many ways regarding what I need to do to get control over my life and how to move on. But, at the same time, it caters for my love and drive for competition.

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

First place would be grand, but that is not the tone for how I define a win for me - not in this instance. For me, it will be crossing that finish line because I know what has gone into that moment.

The person I most admire is…

My coach and support staff. They have challenged me to make healthier life choices and provided me with consistency in life through the training regimes they have developed for me.