Sport has always been important in the life of SSWO Stosio, today senior inspector in the training section in the Military Police Special Department in Mińsk Mazowiecki. “I was raised in a family of sporting spirit, I used to watch the Olympic Games with my parents, I used to go in for different sports: judo, boxing, wrestling, weightlifting (which I used to train for 10 years), and in my unit I was in the boxing section,” Marek says.
His passion never changed even after the accident he had on a mission. WO Stosio, who had been in the army since 1993, was in the Balkans, in Beirut and Lebanon. In 2011, during the 9th rotation in Afghanistan, he commanded the Police Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team. “Our task was to protect the road from Kabul to Kandahar,” he says. One of the convoys they covered was ambushed by the Taliban. Under the vehicle with him inside the IED exploded, and they were shelled. “My spine and knee were damaged, and my shoulder was shot through.”
Still, he continued to do sports. This was his road to health recovery. Now, he has decided to compete in the Invictus Games. “We tried different disciplines, and I was good at a discus throw and a shot-put, so I will compete in Sydney in these spectacular competitions.”
He will also do sitting volleyball and running. “I used to play football a lot once, and I’m fast at short distance, so I chose 100- and 200-meter running distance, and a 4x100-meter relay race.” The volleyball is not a novelty to him, either, although its sitting variation makes it a totally new game style as different muscles are involved. While preparing for the competition, he plays with his colleagues on a regular basis, they compete with local teams; the Start Wrocław team players (Polish Vice-Champions in this discipline since 2017) gave them a few good tips.
He hopes for the best results in sitting volleyball and discus throw. “Training for the second discipline is harder, because I need to train on my own, and my coach evaluates my progress and gives me more tips during the meetings in the Military Training and Conditioning Center in Mrągowo,” explains the soldier.
He would like to dedicate his participation in the Invictus Games to the memory of his colleagues killed in Afghanistan and to his 17-year old daughter, who goes to Sydney with him. “She was the apple in my eye, we had a great relationship, and I neglected her while on missions. Now I want to prove that my family is the most important to me,” he says. WO Stasio, by participating in the Games, would like to encourage other injured veterans to come out and not shut themselves off in four walls of their homes. “I used to be like that too, but trainings with friends, who experienced the same on their missions, helped me very much.”
Health impairment: 2%
Missions: PMC Afghanistan 9th rotation
Discipline: sitting volleyball, light athletics (running, shot-put, discus throw)
autor zdjęć: Michał Niwicz