EP 016 - Invictus Games Gold Medalist Kelly Scanlan


I’d like to thank Kelly Scanlan for coming on the podcast this week. Kelly is a Canadian Gold Medalist in Invictus Games. She is also a Canadian Army Veteran, a 2018 Bell Let’s Talk Speaker, a firefighter and a public speaker.

She first joined the Canadian Forces at 16 and started training to deploy to Afghanistan at 18. During her training, she suffered her first injury, a completely torn ligament in her leg. She decided to push through the pain and deploy anyway and, at age 19, she left to spend eight months on tour as an infantry soldier in Afghanistan.

I think you will enjoy this lively and resource-packed discussion. Kelly talks to us about winning the Invictus Games, training, her deployment to Afghanistan in 2010, her diagnosis with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and how the Invictus games helped her cope mentally and physically.

You’ll Learn:
• [01:35] – Kelly starts our conversation by telling us about her background, growing up, the armed forces and her experiences in Afghanistan. She says that she joined the army at the age of 16 years. In order to be deployed, a person must be at least 18 years old.

• [22:47] – She takes us through her diagnosis with post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, flashbacks, nightmares, stigma, mental health; and support from family.

• [36:21] – Kelly talks about the Invictus Games. How she learnt about it from her friend, what the games are all about. She began exercising heavily in cycling and tennis.

• [52:01] – She talks to us about the medals that she won. She says that bronze was the first medal she won in the qualifying round. She got to carry the Canadian flag out to the podium. And then she won the gold. She further tells us about that.

• [01:01:45] – Kelly explains about how she started doing presentations/invitations, sharing about her experiences and how Invictus Games helped her cope. She says that talking about her experiences assisted her greatly in healing.

• [53:22] – She sums up our discussion by telling us about how she partners with different veteran organizations, being involved and doing things to help the community.

Quotes by the Guest:
• [02:58] – “It was a big learning experience for me… it was definitely not really what I thought I was walking into and it definitely did kind of shift the course of my life!”

• [27:16] – “I was diagnosed maybe a year or two after I came home… I didn`t feel right and I wasn`t sleeping well!”

• [43:05] – “I like swimming, that`s probably why I won!”

• [53:24] – “The Gold medal… this gold medal is the only gold the Australians didn`t take in swimming!”