The Hague, The Netherlands, 22 April 2022: A sporting duo who hadn’t even met a week ago have won the Jaguar Award for Exceptional Performance at the Invictus Games The Hague 2020 – presented by the Duke of Sussex, Founding Patron of the Invictus Games Foundation.
Josh Connell from Boston, Massachusetts, was called in at the last minute to act as guide to visually impaired athlete Mike Murphy, also from the U.S.A. It was a dream debut, with the pair winning gold in the IT6 1,500m.
Josh was struck by Mike’s motivation and wanted to support him. Since retiring from the military, Josh cites sport as the inspiration to get moving each day – to set and meet goals and stay healthy.
After crossing the finish line Mike thanked everyone who had helped him towards his success. His guide dog, Maverick, joined him at the medal presentation.
Jaguar - Josh & Mike Podium .JPG
INVICTUS GAMES JAGUAR AWARD FOR EXCEPTIONAL PERFORMANCE GOES TO DUO WHO CAPTURED THE WORLD’S ATTENTION
Jaguar - Josh & Mike Running .JPG
It was a huge moment too for guide Josh, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2015 and has had chemotherapy since. When the Games were postponed in 2020, he was concerned he wouldn’t be there when they finally took place.
Yet two years later he was back on the track, healthy enough to win gold with Mike. He had agreed to be a guide runner at short notice when an extra man was needed because of the nature of the heats and the number of competitors in the final.
As well as winning gold in the 1,500m, Josh also competed in cycling, indoor rowing, and swimming.
The connection made between Mike and Josh is palpable. Together, they epitomise the phrase ‘stronger together’. Each of us can learn from the dignity, strength and resilience shown by Mike, Josh and all competitors over the past seven days. I speak on behalf of everyone at Jaguar Land Rover when I applaud their spirit and their sportsmanship.
Chief Commercial Officer, Jaguar Land Rover
The Invictus Games The Hague 2020 presented by Jaguar Land Rover is a multi-national adaptive sporting event for wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans, and includes archery, athletics, cycling, a driving challenge, indoor rowing, powerlifting, sitting volleyball, swimming, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby.