Warrior Games, Day 3.
May 13th, 2010 by MOTHAX
Army, Marine Corps and Air Force tied in Chairman's Cup Standings Picture: Legionnaire and Former Marine Scott Martin (closest athlete) competes in the swim competition as part of the Ultimate Champion Pentathlon. Another great day, another very long day, in scenic and wonderful Colorado Springs. Today was Archery, Swimming, Wheelchair Basketball and Seated Volleyball. A quick note on the Chairman's Cup since I have not adequately explained it. The Army has 100 competitors, the Marines 50, the Air Force 25, and the Navy/Coasties have 25. Thus, a medal for the Navy/Coasties and Air Force is worth 4 times as much as one the Army receives. A Marine Corps one counts twice what the Army does. This allows for it to be somewhat equal in medal count competition. After yesterday, the Army had 4 medals for 4 points, the Marines have 2 for 4 points, and the Air Force had 1 for 4 points. Anyway, like I said, another great day. It is somewhat difficult to keep track of all the events and competitors, so I am using the USOC information. Their New Media Guy here is AWESOME, and my thanks to him is endless. Anyway, with regards to Archery:
Archery The Army showcased precision shooting skills during the archery competition Wednesday in the first medal events of these Games in compound and recurve. All told, Army warriors took home four of the six medals awarded, including a 1-2-3 sweep in the recurve division. Michael Lukow outshot fellow Army teammate Curtis Winston to secure the first gold medal of the inaugural Warrior Games, presented by Deloitte. Lukow, a below-the-knee amputee caused by a roadside bomb blast in Iraq in 2008, hopes to use his gold-medal victory as a springboard to furthering his archery career as he waits to hear on whether or not he’s been accepted into the Army’s World Class Athlete Program (WCAP). Lukow also is ompeting in sitting volleyball and the discus this week. It was an all-Marine final in compound with Beau Parra edging out Matthew Benack by the slightest of margins to secure a gold medal for the Marine Corps. Parra will also be competing in the pistol shooting competition Thursday as well. "This feels great winning my first gold medal,” said Parra. “Benack (silver medalist) and I have trained together for a couple weeks and it's always nice to joke back and forth. My family wanted me to come back with a gold medal, so this will make them proud." For more on Parra, click HERE.Next up was the swimming competitions, which included events in 50m freestyle (m/w) 50m breaststroke (m) 50m backstroke (w) 100m freestyle (m) Mixed 200m relay My "I wish I brought a hankie" moment came in the Mens 50m freestyle. The heats were divided into 3 categories, Lower Body Injuries, Upper Body Injuries, and TBI/PTSD athletes. In the LBI heat there were 6 competitors, the first 5 of which finished the heat bunched up closely at around 45 seconds. But the 6th competitor trailed by a lot. In fact, he was only about 15 meters in to his swim. It was a young Marine....a young marine with no legs. He could have stopped, he could have turned around, since he was about 1/3 done. But that isn't what Marines do. The entire crowd was on it's feet. I even saw a guy in a wheelchair painfully push himself to a standing position to cheer. The other athletes in the heat didn't exit the pool, they turned around, and treaded water while yelling, clapping and cheering on this survivor, this athlete who was going to finish no matter what. It was incredibly loud in there, and behind me a marine mom was crying as she cheered. She wasn't alone, a good 50% of the crowd was either crying, and a good 49% of the remainder was blinking as rapidly as they could. I would have been in the first category, but somehow held it together. There are events you witness in your life that awe and inspire you, this was one of them. When that Marine finished the 50m, the crowd was ballistic. Athletes, coaches, fans, media, military and even the folks running the event all screaming and clapping. Perhaps one of the most moving things I ever witnessed. After that was over I began talking to the man seated next to me. He noticed my American Legion polo shirt and asked if I was a Legionnaire. I informed him that I was, and that in fact I worked for them. He was around 60 years old, and there with his brother, his daughter and wife, all there to cheer on his son. He introduced himself to me:
I'm Jeff Martin, Michigan City, Indiana, Legion Post 37, and I am here rooting for my son Scott Martin, he's a former Marine competing in the Ultimate Champion Competition. So today he swims, tomorrow he shoots, and friday he competes in Track and Field for 3 events, and if he makes it through today he will swim again on Friday in the finals.Jeff Martin and family cheer on Scott during his 50m Freestyle competition. It was wonderful talking to Jeff, and his pride in what Scott was accomplished was palpable. Scott was in the initial wave of Marines into Afghanistan, and then later deployed to Iraq. While in Iraq he was hit by an IED and had really bad PTSD and TBI. As Jeff told me, "when Scott got back he was tested as reading at a second or third grade level, but through hard work and treatment he is now attending college." I will have more on Scott and his Dad next week when I do my wrap up, but what an inspirational family, both the Dad and the son. I'll turn to the USOC again for the results of other competitions:
Wheelchair Basketball In a tightly contested bronze-medal game Wednesday night, Air Force was held scoreless for 27 minutes and 54 seconds – a dry spell that spanned the first and second half – but got a winning basket by Jennifer Stone (Denver, Colo.) with 1:23 to play to seal their victory and record the Air Force’s first medal of the inaugural Warrior Games. Air Force jumped off to an early 10-4 lead with 9:17 left to go in the first half, but wouldn’t score again until Stone’s layup off a Navy turnover to break-up what was a 10-10 tie at the time. Elmer (Matt) Sanders would hit a free throw with 12.7 seconds remaining in the game as the Air Force defeated Navy, 13-10. “I feel great,” said Stone, when asked how she felt about winning the game-clinching shot. “I was right under the basket and got a great assist. It’s truly an honor to represent the Air Force. It’s a chance of a lifetime.” In other action, the Marines (3-0) and Army (2-1) will meet again in the gold-medal final Thursday night as both were victorious in their semifinal contests from SportsCenter I at the Olympic Training Center. The Marines ran away from Army in the second half of their previous meeting Tuesday and won 45-18. Sitting Volleyball The Marines and Air Force remain undefeated in the sitting volleyball competition with semifinals set for Thursday evening. Scores and results from Wednesday are as follows: Archery (OTC, SportsCenter I) Recurve 1. Michael Lukow (Army/Colo.) 2. Curtis Winston (Army) 3. Jeffrey Anderson (Army) 4. Daniel “Don” Govier (Marines) Compound 1. Beau Parra (Marines) 2. Matthew Benack (Marines) 3. Robert Price (Army) 4. Travis Akin (Army/Copperas Cover, Texas) Sitting Volleyball (OTC, SportsCenter II) Air Force def Army 4, 3-0 24-26, 25-17, 15-7 Marine 1 def Navy, 2-0 25-20, 25-21 Army 4 def Army 1, 2-0 25-19, 25-22 Navy def Army 3, 2-0 25-21, 25-21 Army 3 def Army 2, 2-0 25-9, 25-13 Air Force def Marine 2 - Forfeit Wheelchair Basketball (OTC, SportsCenter I) Army 41, Air Force 12 Marines 47, Navy 12 Bronze Medal Game – Air Force 13, Navy 10I am off to cycling now, check back tomorrow for more updates!
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