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Samual Maraldo

ADF Service: I joined the Royal Australian Navy in 2008 as an electronic technician. During my career I served in south-east Asia, the Pacific region and on border protection operations.

I medically discharged in 2015 after ongoing chronic injuries.

Age: 40

Hometown: Warrnambool, Victoria

Current town: Epping, Victoria

Competing in: Sitting volleyball

What is the Nature of your injury or illness?

Bilateral hip, knee and shoulder joint injuries. I have a degenerative lower back condition and suffer from depression and anxiety.

What role has sport played in your rehabilitation?

Sport gets me off the couch and interacting with people who I usually would not meet. Playing in team sports links me to my community and gives me an outlet for my competitive nature.

What is your greatest achievement to date?

Being drafted to play wheelchair football for Hawthorn in the inaugural Victorian Wheelchair Football League. Also, winning a silver medal with the Australian archery team at the London Invictus Games 2014 was very special.

Why did you apply for the Invictus Games 2018?

I wanted to represent Australia. I also wanted to push myself to attempt selection and, through perseverance, obviously got there. Being part of a team was a big factor. The Invictus Games team is like a family where, no matter your ability or how you sustained your illness or injury, you are accepted for who you are.

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

It’s pushing myself to do the best I can for both me and my fellow team mates. Just participating in a home Games is a win for me.

The person I most admire is…

Recently I have come across many people who have overcome huge hurdles from injuries and medical conditions and achieved their goals – especially some of the wheelchair football community – so to pick just one is too hard.