26 October 2018

Families surprise their podium finishing loved ones during medal ceremony

Medals were presented by families of the competitors at the men's novice recurve in the archery during day seven of the Invictus Games Sydney 2018. Photo credit: Getty Images/Invictus Games Sydney 2018

Competitors in the men’s novice recurve archery were surprised and emotional when their families were part of the official medal presentation – made possible by an official corporate sponsor of Invictus Games Sydney 2018 presented by Jaguar Land Rover, Coco Fuzion 100.

Kenneth Jepsen Hyldtoft of Denmark was amazed to have his partner, Liudmyla Kapustian, with the bronze medal exchange.

“I couldn’t stop crying,” Kapustian said.

“I was walking behind him and the first time he saw me was when I was giving him the medal.”

“This week has been full of ups and downs, but it has been everything,”

“There have been many experiences which you will save in your heart. I knew we had all the Danish supporters in the crowd and it was a great experience.”

Australian gold medallist Darren Peters had his wife Nicole do the honours of awarding the medal.

“I was shocked to see her at first, then it was ‘here come the tears’,” Peters said.

“I couldn’t have asked for anyone else in the world to present me this medal. It’s a moment that I’ll cherish for a very long time.”

Nicole was also caught by surprise when told of just the opportunity to present her husband’s medal.

“I was honoured to be asked in the first place and a bit shocked,” she said.

“But we’re a team, Darren and I, and it felt right to give it to him,” added Nicole.

Peters only took up Archery in February and started with a clear understanding of the importance of competing at the Invictus Games.

“These Games are for focusing on those who need fixing, regardless of where you come from,” he said.

“It’s for the people who tried out but can’t be here, the people who never came back from conflict overseas, the parents of those loved ones who have gone – that’s why I did it.”

For Hyldtoft, it built on what has already been a second to none experience with the Danish team.

“It’s been a huge journey since the training camps to be here now,” Hyldtoft said.

“Our team is an amazing group and I love them all.”

Ian Mountford
Invictus Games Sydney 2018