News: Marine to compete in Para-Cycling World Cup Final
Story by Aquita Brown
SAN DIEGO - When you are faced with difficulties in life you have two roads you can take. You can one, give up and admit defeat or two, hope for the best and continue to fight life’s battles.
After, suffering an incomplete fracture to her spine due to a vehicle roll over, surviving a stroke and breast cancer, Marine veteran Chief Warrant Officer Beth Cosgrove never imagined giving up. Instead this hard charger decided to change her name to Beth Hope and “show others that with hope anything is possible.”
“I always read about hope and it would encourage me. I wanted to become hope for others.”
Hope has served over 18 years in the Marine Corps, originally enlisting as a common business-oriented language programmer and later becoming a data systems software officer. “I joined the Marine Corps because of the challenge. I knew it was harder than the other branches and I always love a challenge,” Hope said.
However, after her injury, in 2001, the challenges Hope began to experience were weighing her down. It took years for her to learn how to walk again and she had already undergone more than 42 surgeries. So she turned to something she had always loved to help her through her recovery. She focused on sports.
“When you are paralyzed, movement is a blessing,” said Hope who is set to compete at the 2013 UCI Para-Cycling World Cup Final on August 23 in Matane, Canada. This will be Hopes first international race. She has previously competed in such events as the Marine Corps Trials held by the Wounded Warrior Regiment and the U.S National Championships where she became a two-time National champion, earning two gold medals along with two stars and stripes jerseys as a para-cyclist competing on an upright trike.
“Cycling is my passion,” said Hope. “I enjoy the ability to push myself, represent my country as a Marine veteran and be an inspiration to others.”
Hope has been collecting gold medals as an amateur athlete in para-triathlons and para-cycling events since 2011. She was fast enough to make the military standard to begin her quest for a spot on the National Team, USA Para-Cycling.
“I want to become the fastest woman trike racer in the world,” said Hope who aspires to place in the World Cup so that she can move on to the Paralympic Games at Rio in 2016. She has been training vigorously twice a day, doing speed work in the morning and three mile hill repeats. This is her game plan to winning the race.
“I am race ready,” said Hope. “When I race it is just me and the clock. I focus on the finish line and see myself standing at the awards podium with a gold medal around my neck, every time I race.”
Her words of encouragement to other wounded, ill and injured Marines is to, “Get out there. Put in your application for the Marine Corps Trials. It literally changed my life. I will always be grateful to the coaches and staff for helping me get started on my Paralympic journey.”
Established in 2007, the Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment was created to provide and enable assistance to combat and non-combat wounded, ill, and injured Marines, and sailors attached to or in direct support of Marine units and their family members in order to assist them as they return to duty or transition to civilian life. Participation in physical activities and sports is just one way that the Wounded Warrior Regiment helps wounded, ill and injured Marines recover by encouraging them to focus on their abilities and strengthen their mind, spirit and body through competition. The Regimental Headquarters, located in Quantico, Va., oversees the operations of two Wounded Warrior Battalions located at Camp Pendleton, Calif., and Camp Lejeune, N.C., as well as multiple detachments in locations around the globe.
For more information about the Wounded Warrior Regiment, please visit www.woundedwarriorregiment.org, http://facebook.com/wwr.usmc, or call the Sgt. Merlin German Wounded Warrior Call Center 24/7 at 877-487-6299.