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Corporal Caitlin Jayne Orchard

ADF Service: I joined the Royal Australian Air Force in 2011 in a logistics role, Movements. ‘Movers,’ as they are better known, provide logistic support such as air terminal services, road movements and aircraft refuelling services. I deployed on Operation Slipper and Operation Accordion. My career highlights are receiving a Commanding Officer’s (CO) Commendation in 2016 and a CO Award in 2017 for my efforts in driver training. I will discharge from the RAAF in December 2020.

Age: 38

Home town: Geraldton, Western Australia

Current town: Tindal, Northern Territory

Competing in: Athletics, cycling, powerlifting and indoor rowing

Corporal Caitlin Jayne Orchard

What is the nature of your injury or illness?

I have bilateral chondromalacia patellae, also known as “runner's knee.” It is a condition where the cartilage on the under surface of the kneecap deteriorates and softens causing the knee and the thigh bone to rub together. An aching pain and a feeling of grinding when the knee is flexed also occurs.

What role has sport played in your rehabilitation?

Implementing sport as part of my rehabilitation has given me a sense of purpose again. Adaptive sport has ensured I can maintain fitness with an injury and know I am not alone on my journey.

What is your greatest achievement to date?

Participating in Warrior Games 2019.

Why did you apply for the Invictus Games?

I felt lost when I was unable to exercise or be active in ways I was used to. I wanted to feel motivated and driven again to achieve my fitness goals so I applied for Invictus Games The Hague 2020. The Invictus Games has opened up a community of supportive like-minded people who encourage and inspire me to keep going.

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

Having my son, husband and mum in the crowd in The Hague, Netherlands, cheering on Team Australia.

The person I most admire is...

It may sound clichéd, but my mum is the one who inspires me most. She lives with a condition called fibromyalgia. This is a chronic condition that causes pain in the muscles and bones and causes extreme fatigue and sleep problems but she does not play the victim. She does everything she can within her limits. This shows me that I am not defined by my injury and that I still have a lot to give and a lot to gain even though at times it may seem difficult.