Oz Sanchez celebrates after winning his time trial event at the U.S. Para-Cycling Open. (Photo: Casey Gibson)
Every other week we scour the web for the latest going on in the world of U.S. Para-cycling. Here’s what you missed!
Oz Sanchez Presents To Marine Recruits Ahead of Veterans Day
Oz Sanchez was back in San Diego and again in the company of U.S. Marine Corps recruits.
It was a surreal moment for Sanchez, a former Marine who’s now a six-time Paralympic medalist in cycling.
He wrote on Instagram that he recently had the honor to present at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, which is the training facility for Marine recruits who live west of the Mississippi River.
Sanchez served in the Marines for six years and was twice deployed to the Middle East. He was preparing to become a Navy SEAL in 2001 when he injured his spinal cord in a motorcycle accident.
Sanchez shared a photo of himself at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. In the picture, the three-time Paralympian is sitting in his wheelchair as 11 Marines dressed in camouflage stand behind him.
“Never could I have imagined, in 1996 when I was a Marine recruit going through boot camp and sitting in this very same theatre, that I would one day be on the stage presenting,” Sanchez wrote on Instagram. “It was an honor and a trip back through memory-lane to be back at my original alma mater.”
Sanchez’s return to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego came shortly before Veterans Day on Nov. 11. The experience gave him an opportunity to reflect.
“The saying goes, ‘never say never,’ but most of us don’t give much thought as to the philosophical meaning behind it. In essence, I’ve come to understand it as to simply remain open to all possibilities,” Sanchez wrote. “We need not know what our future holds for us. We need only remain open to what is possible. Simple in concept, massively difficult in its application.”
Jill Walsh Sees California During Epic Ride
Jill Walsh got to see much of the California coast while riding her bike.
The three-time Paralympic medalist participated in the Challenged Athletes Foundation’s Million Dollar Challenge in mid-October.
During the weeklong event, riders travelled from San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf to San Diego’s Mission Bay. It was a 640-mile ride along Highway 1.
Walsh, who earned a bronze in the road race at the Tokyo Paralympics, shared photos on Instagram of her ride with the Million Dollar Challenge.
“What a week! Riding down the coast of California with an organization that has influenced my life more than they know,” Walsh wrote. “Challenged Athletes Foundation gives the power and knowledge to individuals with physical challenges to live their best lives to the fullest!”
Oksana Masters Transitions From Cycling to Skiing
Oksana Masters has gone from racing on pavement to moving on snow.
She has returned to training in Nordic skiing after winning a pair of gold medals in cycling at this summer’s Tokyo Paralympics. She’s preparing for the Beijing Winter Paralympics in March.
Masters spoke recently about how she transitions between cycling and Nordic skiing throughout the year.
Meanwhile, Masters and Olympic alpine skier Breezy Johnson rang the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Oct. 19.
Masters, who has earned 10 Paralympic medals in cycling, Nordic skiing and rowing, shared photos of her trip to Wall Street on Instagram.
“About last night… it was such an honor to celebrate all of the hard work & perseverance @delta has done through adversity by ringing the closing bell at the @nyse along side the kindest, gutsiest, fastest women on snow, @breezyjohnsonski,” Masters wrote. “Thank you #deltaairlines for supporting all of @teamusa climb towards #beijing2022 and connecting us with the world. #keepclimbing”
Cyclists Dress Up For Halloween
Ryan Pinney looked like he was ready to break something.
Pinney, who earned a bronze medal at his first Paralympics in Tokyo, dressed as the Disney character Wreck-It Ralph for Halloween. His costume included a spiky wig, oversized hands and a pair of overalls.
Keeping with the “Wreck-It Ralph” theme, Pinney’s wife, Meagan, sported an all-blue outfit and carried a hammer like the character Fix-It Felix Jr. Their daughter, Addison, went as the young Vanellope von Schweetz with a tutu and candy in hair.
“‘Because if that little kid likes me, how bad can I be?’ Wreck it Ralph & Vanellope Von Schweetz race through Halloween 2021 with Fix it Felix fixin’ things along the way!” Pinney wrote on Instagram.
Two-time Paralympian Jamie Whitmore also dressed up for Halloween.
Whitmore and her fiancé, Brian, dressed as the film character “The Huntsman,” originally played by Chris Hemsworth. They went trick-or-treating as a family.
“I was able to keep up thanks to an electric scooter. I’m pretty sure I just found my new mode of transportation when there’s a lot of walking involved,” Whitmore wrote on Instagram.
She won a gold and a silver at the 2016 Rio Paralympics.