For several members of the 2013 U.S. Paralympics Track and Field World Team, representing the United States on the field of play is only the second way they have represented their country.
U.S. Paralympics, through a partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense, is providing thousands of opportunities for veterans and service members with physical disabilities to compete in Paralympic sport at the recreational, intermediate and elite levels, including competing with Team USA.
At the 2013 International Paralympic Committee Athletics World Championships, July 19-28, in Lyon, France, 10 veterans and two active duty service members will compete for the United States. With four days until the first competition on July 20, learn more about the four U.S. military branches that will be represented in Lyon.
The U.S. Army has the largest contingent of military athletes on the 2013 U.S. Paralympics Track and Field World Championship Team with seven representatives: Sergeant Rob Brown (Chula Vista, Calif.); Robbie Gaupp (Gatesville, Texas), veteran; Ce-Ce Mazyck (Columbia, S.C.), veteran; Jose Nieves (Gurabo, Puerto Rico), veteran; Luis Puertas (Orlando, Fla.), veteran; Scot Severn (Caro, Mich.), veteran; and Scott Winkler (Pittsburgh, Pa.), veteran. Guapp and Puertas are making the U.S. team debut after recently competing at the Warrior Games presented by Deloitte, which is a competition for 260 wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans.
U.S. Marine Corps
U.S. Marines Corps veteran Stephanie Timmer (Naperville, Ill.) is the lone Marine on Team USA. Since 1996, Timmer has progressively lost her sight due to an eye disease known as macular degeneration. She will compete in the women’s discus, javelin and shot put in Lyon.
Veteran Steven Hancock (Pueblo, Colo.), veteran Max Rohn (Longmont, Colo.) and Chief Petty Officer Casey Tibbs (San Antonio, Texas) are the three athletes with naval ties. While Chief Petty Officer Tibbs became the first active duty military athlete to represent the U.S. in a Paralympic Games when he competed in 2004, Hancock and Rohn are products of the Warrior Games.
U.S. Air Force
Kate Callahan (San Antonio, Texas), who competes in the discus, javelin and shot put, is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. In 2000, she was paralyzed from the waist down when tendons in her back separated her spine during surgery. She became active in track and field in 2007 through National Veterans Wheelchair Games and a United States Olympic Committee Paralympic Military Sports Camp.