INSPIRATIONAL MESSAGE: Former Australian commando Damien Thomlinson. Picture: Jonathan Ng
INSPIRATIONAL MESSAGE: Former Australian commando Damien Thomlinson. Picture: Jonathan Ng

Fearless sportsman’s incredible Anzac message of hope

OPINION

OF all the incredible tribute pieces on Anzac Day, one inspirational story struck a chord with this sports fanatic.

Former Australian commando Damien Thomlinson is someone I would love to shake his hand in admiration - when we are again allowed to do so.

I had seen him courageously tackle challenges on Australian Survivor but didn't realise his exceptional message until hearing his latest interview on 4BC.

He openly told the normally jovial Continuous Call team how he lost both legs due to an explosive device while serving in Afghanistan.

However, there was no light-hearted banter here. Just pure inspiration. The sports presenters and no doubt all the listeners were glued to the war hero's every word.

Most importantly, the elite military man was more focused on getting on with his life and achieving goals rather than dwelling on his awful setback.

Since his ordeal, he's already motivated others through swimming, as a rally car navigator and in para-snowboarding.

With, or without his prosthetic legs, he's preparing to conquer new quests in future Paralympic competitions. He even joked how much fun it is being strapped into a snowboard.

He fears nothing.

To hear him chat so freely about not letting anything get in his way sent shivers down the spine.

He was honest, humble and, above all, a sportsman who has so much to offer.

As I stood quietly at dawn outside my front door reflecting on Anzac traditions, I knew Australia had produced so many acts of bravery. That's what Anzac Day is about - honouring those who gave us the freedom we enjoy today.

But being reminded of personal experiences like those of Thomlinson is what generates the most emotion and lasting respect.

Still isolated at home, the veggie patch is blooming and providing a growth in positive feelings as we await the time to escape our locked down bubble.

But we have so much to be grateful for, even when everyone gets irritated and starts looking for new ways to gain rare personal space.

Damien Thomlinson typifies hope and how to handle adversity.

There was no better time than Anzac Day to remind us how to keep battling on.