San Diego vet wins 5 gold medals at Invictus Games - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

San Diego vet wins 5 gold medals at Invictus Games

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) – A San Diego marine has won five gold medals at the Invictus Games in Toronto.

The annual international competition is for wounded warriors who never gave up fighting, despite life altering injuries.

Marine Corps Lance Corporal Sarah Rudder is one of the wounded warriors competing for Team USA.

“It’s truly exhausting, but we get through each day because we know that this is healing for us and we are going to get healing done. We are fighting as athletes to show that we are still fighting for our country and we are remaining strong regardless of our disabilities,” said Rudder.

The medically retired veteran severely injured her leg while removing bodies and rubble from the Pentagon building after the 9/11 attacks.

Her leg had to be amputated, but competing in the games helps her cope.

“I looked around and I said, I can feel sorry for myself because these people are here with more than one missing limb, or higher missing limbs. I am here with paper cut and feelings sorry for myself and I can’t do that,” she said.

The International Invictus Games was launched three years ago by Prince Harry of Wales.

Prince Harry awarded Sarah her gold medal for the 100-meter dash earlier this week. Rudder herself, used to live in England.

“I lived there for several years and I was under him as him being Prince for lots of years. To see him grow and develop this program for us is inspirational,” she said.

The 33-year-old veteran competed in a total of nine events this year.

At home in Temecula, she trains full time and gets support from her fellow athletes.

“I come here and compete with all these people, but when we go home the high turns into a low, and we try to be active and push ourselves, so we don't reach that low point again,” she said.

Sarah’s husband, son and parents flew to Toronto to watch her compete.

She is going for another medal Wednesday night as a member of the Team USA sitting volleyball team.

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