Taking part in her second Invictus Games, Steffi Matz says she’s feeling more relaxed this time around, compared to her first experience at Toronto 2017.
“I was quite nervous and didn’t know what to expect or how the competition would be,” she explained.
The master sergeant paramedic is the only female on the German team and is proud to represent her country in athletics (discus and shotput), indoor rowing and sitting volleyball.
“It’s one less (sport) than in Toronto last year, where I also competed in archery,” she said.
Matz was a paramedic working for the second time in Afghanistan in 2014 when she developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). She stayed one year and then returned to her home country.
Back in Germany, she joined a special sports rehabilitation program aimed at wounded members of the armed forces. Through this program, Matz started training which prepared her mentally and physically to compete at sporting events.
This is the 32-year-old’s first time in Sydney, however, due to training and other commitments around the Games, she has not been able to see much of the city.
“We are on a tight schedule, but we still have time to mingle with competitors from other countries.”
Sharing such moments started before leaving Europe, with team Germany and team France catching the same plane to get to Australia on a 28-hour flight.
She says she’s enjoyed catching up with friends she made in Toronto.
“It is important never to give up, to keep on fighting. The Games are important because they allow us to do exactly that – we see that we are still able to achieve something.”
We are strong and we are still warriors, and most importantly we are not alone – we are now part of the ‘Invictus family’.
“I would like to thank the Invictus Foundation, all the nations that come here to compete and everyone involved. I honestly hope these Games will exist forever!”.
Invictus Games Sydney 2018