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News: Team Navy/Coast Guard swims for gold at 2012 Warrior Games

Story by Lt. Michael Fallon and Petty Officer 1st Class Katherine Hofman

Team Navy/Coast Guard swims for gold at the 2012 Warrior Games Lt. Michael Fallon

The Team Navy and Coast Guard relay team celebrates gold at the 2012 Warrior Games. 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.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Team Navy/Coast Guard dominated the swimming events in the last day of competition at the 2012 Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, Colo., May 5.

The team's swimmers took 16 medals, including 11 golds, to bring Team Navy/Coast Guard's total medal count to 31, exceeding the 27 won during the 2011 games. The Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mark Ferguson awarded the medals and spoke proudly of the athletes.

"What a great inspiration," Ferguson said. "What I like most about being here is that the loudest cheers come not from those with the most medals, but more often for those with the biggest struggles."

Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Lt. Brad Snyder swam for three individual gold medals in the men's open 50-meter freestyle, 100-meter freestyle and 50-meter backstroke events. His backstroke time of 34.19 seconds is the fifth fastest in the world in the visually-impaired paralympic category. From St. Petersburg, Fla., Snyder was blinded by an improvised explosive device while deployed to Afghanistan in 2011.

"I began swimming as soon as I left the hospital," said Snyder, who was on the U.S. Naval Academy swim team, about how swimming has helped him in his recovery. "I'm not physically disabled, but navigationally disabled. When I swim, I can relax and not have to worry about whether I am going to walk into a wall or into a piece of furniture."

Retired Navy Lt. John Edmonston won a bronze medal in the men's 50-meter freestyle open event. After suffering traumatic brain injury during a motorcycle accident in 2009, Edmonston has not let setbacks deter him.

A native of Bremerton, Wash., Edmonston competed for the title of Ultimate Champion, coming in third place in the pentathlon-style competition which included events in cycling, swimming, shooting, track and field.

Navy Mineman 2nd Class Linda Simpson won an additional three gold medals for Team Navy/Coast Guard in the women's single leg amputee 50-meter freestyle, 100-meter freestyle and 50-meter backstroke events.

Simpson, of Bremerton, Wash., was injured in a motorcycle accident in 2011 that resulted in the the loss of her left leg. Reflecting back on her recovery and participation in the 2012 Warrior Games, Simpson commented, "When I woke up from my amputation surgery, I knew I could either choose to sit and cry or I could choose to move forward; I chose to move forward."

Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician 1st Class John Kremer won two gold medals in the men's double leg amputee 50-meter backstroke and 50-meter freestyle events. He also captured a silver medal in the men's double leg amputee 100-meter freestyle event. Kremer, a native of Whidbey Island, Wash., stepped on a landline while deployed to Afghanistan in 2010, causing the loss of both legs.

Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Red Ramos won gold in the men's single leg amputee 100-meter freestyle event and two silver medals in the men's single leg amputee 50-meter freestyle and 50-meter backstroke events. Originally from Fremont, Calif., Ramos was wounded in an improvised explosive device during his first combat deployment to Afghanistan in 2011.

Ramos, who has never participated in swimming competitions prior to the Warrior Games, was surprised and elated by his win, but even more awed by the camaraderie between the services.

"I thought it was going to be a bloodbath competing against each other, but it's not like that at all. I can't explain it," Ramos said. "All I know is that I'll never be the same after being here."

Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Max Rohn of Longmont, Colo., took the bronze medal in the men's single leg amputee 100-meter freestyle event. Rohn was wounded during a rocket-propelled grenade attack while serving in Iraq in 2007, which led to the amputation of his right leg.

The final show of Team Navy/Coast Guard's dominance was the last event of the day and the Warrior Games, the mixed 4 x 50-meter freestyle relay. Individual medalists Snyder and Edmonston joined teammates Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Chris Marsh and Navy Aviation Machinist's Mate 3rd Class Chris Suter to win the gold in 1:56, a 15-second lead over second place.

Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Chris Marsh, a native of Oceanside, Calif., sustained an upper arm injury from a gunshot wound while deployed to Afghanistan in May 2011. The wound resulted in nerve deficiency and weakness.

Navy Aviation Machinist's Mate 3rd Class Chris Suter, a native of Kalamazoo, Mich., was diagnosed with Cushing's disease in December 2010, a disease affecting only one in four million people. Suter was sent to National Naval Medical Center, in Bethesda, Md., where he underwent a successful surgery to remove the brain tumor that caused the disease.

At the 2012 Warrior Games, Team Navy/Coast Guard won the following medals:

GOLD
Swimming:
Men's 50-meter freestyle open: Navy Lt. Brad Snyder
Men's 100-meter freestyle open: Navy Lt. Brad Snyder
Men's 50-meter backstroke open: Navy Lt. Brad Snyder
Men's 50-meter freestyle SLA: Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Red Ramos
Men's 100-meter freestyle SLA: Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Red Ramos
Men's 50-meter freestyle DLA: Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician 1st Class John Kremer
Men's 50-meter backstroke DLA: Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician 1st Class John Kremer
Women's 50-meter freestyle SLA: Navy Mineman 2nd Class Linda Simpson
Women's 100-meter freestyle SLA: Navy Mineman 2nd Class Linda Simpson
Women's 50-meter backstroke SLA: Navy Mineman 2nd Class Linda Simpson
Mixed 200-meter freestyle relay: retired Navy Lt. John Edmonston, Navy Lt. Brad Snyder, Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Chris Marsh, and Navy Aviation Machinist's Mate 3rd Class Chris Suter

Track & Field:
Men's 100-meter dash visually impaired: Navy Lt. Brad Snyder
Men's 200-meter dash visually impaired: Navy Lt. Brad Snyder
Men's 1500-meter run visually impaired: Navy Lt. Brad Snyder

SILVER
Swimming:
Men's 50-meter backstroke SLA: Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Red Ramos
Men's 100-meter freestyle DLA: Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician 1st Class John Kremer

Track & Field:
Women's seated shot put: Navy Mineman 2nd Class Linda Simpson
Men's 100-meter dash open: retired Navy Lt. John Edmonston
Men's standing shot put: Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Max Rohn
Men's standing discus throw: Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Max Rohn

BRONZE
Archery:
Team Recurve: Navy Machinist's Mate 1st Class Mike Dayton, retired Navy Electrician's Mate 2nd Class Joshua Rosenberg, and Navy Culinary Specialist Seaman Judy Boyce

Shooting:
Standing Air Rifle SH1: Navy Aviation Technician 2nd Class Andrew Wilson

Swimming:
Men's 50-meter freestyle open: retired Navy Lt. John Edmonston
Men's 50-meter freestyle SLA: Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Max Rohn
Men's 100-meter freestyle SLA: Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Max Rohn

Track & Field:
Men's 200-meter dash lower body amputation: Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Redmond Ramos
Men's seated shot put: retired Coast Guard Lt. Sancho Johnson
Men's discus throw wheelchair: retired Coast Guard Lt. Sancho Johnson
Men's 100-meter dash visually impaired: retired Navy Builder Constructionman Dan Peters
Men's 1500-meter run visually impaired: retired Navy Builder Constructionman Dan Peters
Mixed 4x100-meter relay open: retired Navy Lt. John Edmonston, Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Max Rohn, retired Navy Aviation Machinist's Mate 2nd Class Oswald Gould , and Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Redmond Ramos

The Warrior Games culminated with the closing ceremonies Saturday evening. The Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, ADM James Winnefeld Jr., addressed the crowd, acknowledging the critical role of family and support networks in rehabilitating the warriors and celebrating the conclusion of an inspiring and exciting 2012 Warrior Games.

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 safeharbor@navy.mil.

For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.

For more news from Chief of Naval Personnel, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnp/.


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Public Domain Mark
This work, Team Navy/Coast Guard swims for gold at 2012 Warrior Games, by LT Michael Fallon and PO1 Katherine Hofman, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:05.05.2012

Date Posted:05.18.2012 10:42

Location:COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, USGlobe

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