News: Marine wins first gold of the 2012 Warrior Games
Story by Aquita Brown
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Cycling competition kicked off today, for the annual Warrior Games at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. Like last year’s events, the All-Marine team started off strong, earning the first gold medal of the games.
“The Marine team showed up big at last year’s Warrior Games on the first day. I just wanted to do my part,” said Lance Cpl. Levi Marshall All- Marine Warrior Games athlete. Marshall participated in the 10K recumbent cycling event. He was the first athlete to cross the finish line.
Marshall, who joined the Marine Corps in September 2007, beat out the Army, Navy and Coast Guard, Air Force and Special Operations Command teams in the recumbent cycling by an astonishing three minutes and 36 seconds.
“I heard them announce that I was in the lead,” said Marshall “but I did not want to slow down and risk losing the race.”
Marshall has been racing for over a year and a half now. He started after a car accident on May 10, 2010, that left him with limited use of his dominant arm and a traumatic brain injury.
“It was hard, said Marshall about his recovery process. “I wanted to be the man I was before I got injured. It was definitely a reality check. There were a lot of things that I took for granted.”
Marshall has credited his friends and family with helping him through his recovery and allowing him to be strong enough to be competitive at the 2012 Warrior Games.
“Being able to see other Marines more severely injured than me competing and doing well made me more competitive,” said Marshall.
According to U.S. Paralympic Committee, the Warrior Games are designed to elevate abilities through athletic competition for wounded, ill and injured service members by providing a focal event to empower the incorporation of athletics into Military Service wounded warrior programs. The Warrior Games celebrate the achievement and abilities of wounded, ill and injured service members, while building camaraderie and raising awareness for adaptive sports.
This year’s events include, cycling, wheelchair basketball, shooting, archery, seated volleyball, swimming and track and field. Marshall, who will also compete in the swimming events later this week, plans to medically retire in June and go to school.
Established in 2007, the Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment was created to provide and facilitate non-medical care 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.
The Regimental Headquarters element, located in Quantico, Va., commands the operations of two Wounded Warrior Battalions located at Camp Pendleton, Calif., and Camp Lejeune, N.C., and multiple detachments in locations around the globe.
For more information about the Wounded Warrior Regiment or the 2012 Warrior Games, go to: www.woundedwarriorregiment.org or call the Sgt. Merlin German Wounded Warrior Call Center 24/7 at 877-487-6299.
Marines and Marine veterans who are interested in participating in Warrior Athlete Reconditioning program training camps or next year’s Warrior Games should contact the WAR program staff at:WWSports@usmc.mil" WWSports@usmc.mil.