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Elite Paratriathlete Melissa Stockwell Releases “The Power of Choice: My Journey from Wounded Warrior to World Champion”

By USA Triathlon | Aug. 04, 2020, 12 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — U.S. Army Veteran and Paralympic triathlete Melissa Stockwell, along with Post Hill Press, today announced that Stockwell’s memoir “The Power of Choice: My Journey from Wounded Warrior to World Champion” is now available for purchase.

The debut book follows Stockwell’s path from tragedy to triumph and the obstacles she has overcome along the way, all guided by the philosophy that each of us has the ability to choose our own path in life. 

In 2004, Stockwell became the first female solider to lose a limb in active combat while serving in Iraq as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army. She went on to compete at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games in swimming, earn three consecutive ITU Paratriathlon World Championship titles from 2010-2012, and race to a bronze medal in paratriathlon’s debut at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro on Sept. 11, 2016. 

“Writing a book has been on my bucket list for years, and I still have to pinch myself to see it in print,” Stockwell said. “I am looking forward to others reading about the obstacles I’ve encountered in my own life and that it’s possible to not only persevere through them, but to end up better on the other side. If my story inspires just one person and enables them to tackle the things in their own life, then it will be a success.”

Born a patriot, Stockwell lost her leg when a roadside bomb exploded under her vehicle during a routine patrol in Iraq. She considered herself one of the lucky ones, as she only lost her left leg and not her life. After receiving both a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star for her service, she vowed to live her life for those who had given the ultimate sacrifice.

After a long and challenging recovery at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, Stockwell learned to walk again and ultimately came back even stronger as an elite para-swimmer and paratriathlete.

Her dramatic journey weaves together heartache, joy and perseverance along with jaw-dropping moments, such as standing in a room with five presidents and sharing a dance with George W. Bush — through a story that is riveting, moving and an inspiration for anyone who would choose to live their life to the fullest.

“Melissa Stockwell’s story will move you. Her message about choosing positivity and living life with intention applies to all of us, whatever obstacles we may be facing in life,” said David Deschenes, USA Triathlon Foundation Executive Director. “Whether you are familiar with Stockwell’s story or not, ‘The Power of Choice’ will take you deeper into the captivating journey she has taken, from wearing her country’s flag as a soldier in the U.S. Army to racing for Team USA on the world stage.”

Stockwell is now living in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with her husband Brian and two young children, Dallas and Millie. She is a member of the Toyota U.S. Paratriathlon Resident Team at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center, and she is aiming to represent the U.S. for a third time at the postponed Tokyo Paralympic Games in 2021.

“The Power of Choice: My Journey from Wounded Warrior to World Champion” is now available for purchase. Please consider your local independent bookseller or pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble, Indiebound or Amazon.

Media Requests: To receive a copy of “The Power of Choice” for media purposes, or to interview Stockwell, please contact Patrick Quinn of Chicago Sports & Entertainment Partners at patrick@chicagosep.com or 630-903-0000.

What others are saying about “The Power of Choice”: 

Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Seven-Time Olympic Medalist, Track & Field
“I have had the chance to meet Melissa and hear her amazing story in person. In this book, Melissa shares insight on how she became a warrior and fought back to become the champion she is today. She is a great example of perseverance in the face of what appears to be insurmountable hurdles. Her love of country is strong and carries through her joining the military and representing Team USA in the Paralympic Games. A true champion in many ways.”

Shannon Miller, Seven-Time Olympic Medalist, Gymnastics
“Melissa’s story of strength and courage is not only incredibly moving, it is a must-read for anyone facing any challenge. Clearly her passion for country and sport drives every one of her accomplishments. From a young gymnast like I was, to representing the United States in Paratriathlon, Melissa inspires us all with her story of overcoming unimaginable adversity and what it truly means to be unstoppable.”

Tammy Duckworth, U.S. Senator and Wounded Veteran
“Melissa’s life is an unmissable story of hardship and perseverance with a message that is sure to inspire all who read it. She is someone I look up to every day — literally. I keep a photo of her on my office wall because I’m so inspired by her work ethic, personality, and never-give-up attitude. I’m proud to call her a friend and even prouder to know that our country is represented well by people like her.”

About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 events and connects with more than 400,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work at the grassroots level with athletes, coaches, and race directors — as well as the USA Triathlon Foundation — USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the ITU and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC).

 

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Melissa Stockwell