Worth more than all the gold in the world
STIX McGavin did not compete in the 2018 Invictus Games to win medals, he did it to inspire other returned veterans.
In fact, the humble Hervey Bay army veteran doesn't even like wearing the five 'golden wattle' coloured accolades he earned last week.
"It isn't about what you bring home,” Stix told the Chronicle while sitting on the back porch of his Craignish home.
"The games are about the rehabilitation, which I am a big advocate for.”
The 29-year-old father-of-two travelled to Sydney to compete in five athletic events across last Thursday and Friday with other wounded, injured or sick armed services personnel and veterans from 18 countries.
Overall Stix medalled in every event, returning home with personal best times but also two golds and three silvers from 100m, 200m, 400m, lonf jump and the relay team in the IT1 category.
"I hope to encourage a few other local veterans to compete because the atmosphere is so amazing, they are all military people who understand at least some of the issues you have. You are not alone,” he said.
Stix's journey to the 2018 Invictus Games began when he first joined the army in 2007.
Working as a combat engineer, he toured East Timor and Afghanistan before leaving the Australian Defence Force in 2013 plagued with injury, unable to move unless heavily medicated.
"I have had more surgeries than birthdays,” he laughed.
"I have a nerve stimulator in my spine for my right leg and I have pins in both legs; short and simple it was because I was carrying too much weight.”
This was Stix's second and last time at the Invictus Games.
"The first time I was so overwhelmed because at that stage I hadn't left the house for three years and to go to an airport and compete was daunting,” he said.
"But this time I wanted to do it again to act as a bit of a mentor for others.
"In the long jump one of the amputee's Alex Tate was having trouble and I gave him a few tips and he beat me.
"I was really proud of that moment because it isn't about winning, it's about supporting each other and he gave me a shout out in the international media too which was great.”