Invictus Games triumph for former St Albans paratrooper
After a turbulent two years ,a wounded war hero has come out victorious, claiming three gold medals at the first Invictus Games.
St Albans-born Jordan Beecher, 27, won three rowing gold medals at the international sporting event involving wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women.
The games, hosted in London and championed by Prince Harry, saw serving and veteran service personnel from 14 nations compete last weekend.
Jordan, a former paratrooper, lost a leg in an IED explosion while serving in Afghanistan two years ago, but has been determined to overcome his injury ever since.
Despite having never rowed before, Jordan has insisted on representing the GB rowing team.
Jordan’s mum, Michelle Irving, said: “He was injured on the Sunday and back in England by the Wednesday.
“One of the first things he said to me was ‘I’m going to row for GB, I’m going to row for Britain.”
Two years on and Jordan won gold in three indoor rowing events; men’s endurance (IR5), men’s sprint (IR5), and in the team event.
Michelle added: “We’ve gone from thinking we were going to lose him to this. When I saw him [win the medals] I felt like my chest was going to burst with pride. It was so surreal.
“He has come such a long way in such a short space of time to be doing what he is doing, not many people would be able to do that. It was an amazing, inspirational and unique moment.”
Michelle believes that Jordan’s motivation to row is partly rooted in his stepdad’s passion for the sport.
She added: “His stepdad Adrian used to row at Marlow and now Jordan does the same.
“I know it was always something he wanted to try and he’s really well thought of in the club.”
After Jordan’s triple win hopes are high for a place at Rio’s 2016 Paralympics, “We’re keeping fingers crossed,” said Michelle.
Adrian was involved in a spat with the district council last year, taking them to court after they wrongly slapped him with a parking fine.
He was dropping Jordan off at Westminster Lodge for training when he parked in a disabled bay and was fined even though he displayed a disabled badge.
Despite the council arguing he was parked in a restricted area, Adrian won the case and the council was forced to retract the fine.