U.S. Army Sergeant Rob Brown selected as flag bearer

By Jamie M. Blanchard | July 17, 2013, 6 p.m. (ET)
Rob Brown
Team USA elected U.S. Army Sergeant Rob Brown, wounded in Iraq, as the U.S flag bearer for the 2013 International Paralympic Committee Athletics World Championships.

LYON, France  — U.S. Army Sergeant Rob Brown was selected by his teammates today to serve as the United States flag bearer for the Opening Ceremony of the 2013 International Paralympic Committee Athletics World Championships, U.S. Paralympics, a division of the United States Olympic Committee, announced. The competition is July 19-28, in Lyon, France.

“I do what I do because of the many men and women who did not make it back, so this is an extremely huge honor,” said Sgt. Brown, a member of the Army World Class Athlete Program who trains at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. “I thank you for letting me represent you.”

After carrying the flag on July 19, Sgt. Brown will compete in the men’s 400-meter T44 event. The semifinal is July 25 with the final slated for July 26.

“Wearing our flag is the greatest honor, to be able to carry it is a huge honor,” Sgt. Brown said.

On Sept. 24, 2006, Sgt. Brown was injured in firefight with insurgents in Iraq. He suffered multiple gunshots to the hip, one of which cut his sciatic nerve, leaving the lower half of his right leg without sensory or motor functions. His right leg was amputated below the knee in 2008.

Sgt. Brown spent time rehabilitating at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C. as a member of the Warrior Transition Brigade. Later, he attended a camp in Seattle that reintroduced him to sport.

He is a top hopeful for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 

“There is no person I would rather stand behind,” said teammate Jeremy Campbell (Perryton, Texas), a discus competitor who won his event at the last two Paralympic Games. “If I was in the Army, I would want to stand behind Rob Brown. At the world championships, I want to stand behind Rob Brown.”

The 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships includes more than 1,100 athletes from 98 countries competing for gold, silver and bronze medals at the Stadium of Parilly. Among the 76 members of Team USA, 10 veterans and two active duty service members:

  • Sergeant Rob Brown (Chula Vista, Calif.), U.S. Army
  • Kate Callahan (San Antonio, Texas), U.S. Air Force veteran
  • Robbie Gaupp (Gatesville, Texas), U.S. Army veteran
  • Steven Hancock (Pueblo, Colo.), U.S. Navy veteran
  • Ce-Ce Mazyck (Columbia, S.C.), U.S. Army veteran
  • Jose Nieves (Gurabo, Puerto Rico), U.S. Army veteran
  • Luis Puertas (Orlando, Fla.), U.S. Army veteran
  • Max Rohn (Longmont, Colo.), U.S. Navy veteran
  • Scot Severn (Caro, Mich.), U.S. Army veteran
  • Chief Petty Officer Casey Tibbs (San Antonio, Texas), U.S. Navy
  • Stephanie Timmer (Naperville, Ill.), U.S. Marines Corps veteran
  • Scott Winkler (Pittsburgh, Pa.), U.S. Army veteran

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.

For more information, please contact Jamie Blanchard, U.S. Paralympics, at jamie.blanchard@usoc.org