News: Team Navy/Coast Guard excels at Warrior Games Track & Field Events
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The members of Team Navy/Coast Guard won 13 medals in ten track and field events of the 2012 Warrior Games, in Colorado Springs, Colo., May 4.
Navy Explosive Ordinance Disposal Lieutenant Brad Snyder led the team with three gold medals in the men's visually-impaired 100-meter, 200-meter, and 1500-meter dash events.
"Our plan was to put ourselves in contention to win, and we did that," said Snyder, a native of St. Petersburg, Fla. "To be on a team and compete gives me a lot of confidence going into all other aspects of life that I'm reestablishing myself in."
Snyder was blinded by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan in September 2011 and has diligently worked to regain his independence in spite of his injury. Snyder's younger brother Russell Snyder served as guide during all three races.
Retired Navy Seaman Dan Peters also won two bronze medals in the men's visually-impaired 100-meter and 1500-meter dash races. A native of Chicago, Ill., Peters was blinded by a malignant brain tumor in 2007. Friend Manny Amato ran as Peter's guide.
Retired Navy Lt. John Edmonston captured the silver medal in the men's open 100-meter dash. A motorcycle accident in 2009 left Edmonston with a traumatic brain injury. A native of Bremerton, Wash., Edmonston is competing for the title of Ultimate Champion, a pentathlon-type event where he is competing in cycling, swimming, shooting, track and field events.
Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Max Rohn excelled at the men's standing shot put event and the men's standing discus event, winning silver medals in both. A native of Longmont, Colo., Rohn has been recovering from injuries sustained during a 2007 rocket-propelled grenade attack while serving in Iraq that eventually led to the amputation of his right leg.
In women's seated shot put, Petty Officer 2nd Class Linda Simpson won a silver medal. Simpson, who lives in Bremerton, Wash., suffered an above-the-knee amputation as a result of a motorcycle accident in 2011.
Retired Coast Guard Lt. Sancho Johnson earned two bronze medals in the men's seated shot put and men's seated discus events. Johnson suffered a spinal cord injury and paralysis in a 2009 auto accident.
Johnson is amazed by the opportunities for development that the Warrior Games provide.
"It's been a long time coming. We fought to get a category for people like myself, with spinal cord injured individuals. This year we had it, so the motivation was there to train harder, work harder, be better and as you can see it did pay off."
Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Red Ramos won a bronze medal in the men's lower-body-amputee 200-meter dash. Originally from Fremont, Calif., Ramos lost his left leg as a result of an IED blast while serving in Afghanistan.
Edmonston, Ramos, and Rohn were members of the bronze medal-winning 4x100-meter relay team, along with teammate retired Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Oswald Gould. A resident of Chesapeake, Va., Gould has undergone extensive chemotherapy following a Stage IV cancer diagnosis in 2010.
When asked about his success and the success of Team Navy/Coast Guard today, Ramos responded "It feels amazing. I came in and all I wanted to do was finish everything. I end up getting a bronze for individual and more importantly a bronze for relay, which is really what our team has been working on, to get the team medals more than individual."
The day's results bring Team Navy/Coast Guard's medal count to 15.
The 35 warrior athletes are participating as Team Navy/Coast Guard, sponsored by Navy Safe Harbor, the Navy and Coast Guard's wounded warrior support program, a key component of the Department of the Navy's 21st Century Sailor and Marine initiative. The initiative is meant to maximize Sailor and Marine personal readiness, build resiliency and hone the most combat-effective force in the history of the Department of the Navy.
The Warrior Games, hosted by the U.S. Olympic Committee's paralympics military program, provides an opportunity for wounded, ill, and injured service members to participate in competitive sports against members of other branches of service.
For more information about Navy Safe Harbor, visit http://safeharbor.navylive.dodlive.mil, call 877-746-8563, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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This work, Team Navy/Coast Guard excels at Warrior Games Track & Field Events, by LT Michael Fallon and PO1 Katherine Hofman, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.