News: Army rallies for big wins, 2012 Warrior Games track and field competition
Story by Jennifer Spradlin
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – After stumbling in the shooting event, the Army athletes regained their balance during the track and field competition of the 2012 Warrior Games at the U.S. Air Force Academy May 4, 2012.
The Army team rebounded with eight gold medals, five silver medals, and ten bronze medals.
Warrior Games showcase the resilience, courage and valor of wounded, ill and injured service members through competitive sports. Participation in adaptive sports is shown to increase the recovery rate and improve the quality of life of these service members.
One of the Army’s star athletes, veteran Margaux Vair, won the gold medal in the Women’s 100m Dash Open Track and the Women’s 200m Dash Open Track and also a silver in the Women’s 1500m Run Open Track. She previously won the silver medal in the Women’s Bicycle event.
“I’m very proud of myself. I got a little down after the 1500m race because I wanted to win gold in all three of my events, but then I came back out and won the gold medal in my next two events,” said Vair who is returning for her second Warrior Games.
Vair was injured in December 2006 when her vehicle struck an improvised explosive device. The blast caused severe neck and back pain and resulted in a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress.
“My left arm goes numb when I run and I wasn’t able to use it. Even without it, I was able to use the rest of my body to get across the finish line. I was able to push through the pain,” said Vair, a Lakewood, Colo., native.
Like many of the service members competing in the games, Vair had not only the support of her fellow athletes, coaches and cadre but also her family, rooting her on from the stands.
“My dad had not seen me compete since high school and for him to see me now, after my injury, it just made me extremely happy,” she said. “I get goose bumps just thinking about what we’re out here doing. We’re all struggling with our own demons, but out here, everyone is smiling and relaxing and we’re not thinking about anything else right now.”
After the completion of the track competition Vair helped the Army team defeat the Marine Corps in the sitting volleyball competition finals in a nail-biting three set match.