Fort Campbell athletes triumph at Warrior trials
July 3, 2014
- "Anytime I think I can't do something, the [Adaptive Reconditioning Program] team not only tells me that I can, but they show me how to adapt it to my abilities. In the military, we adapt and overcome. That's what I have been able to do, thanks to ARP."-- former Specialist Amanda Lyle of Paducah, Ky.
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. -- Two Fort Campbell Soldiers from the Warrior Transition Battalion recently returned from the Army Warrior Games trials with gold, silver and bronze medals in hand -- along with the esprit de corps that represents the determined and resilient strength of the famed installation that sits on the Kentucky/Tennessee border.
The trials, held June 15-20 at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y., determined which 40 Soldiers and Veterans will be chosen to represent the Army at the 2014 Warrior Games scheduled from Sept. 28 through Oct. 4, 2014 in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Sergeant Kadina Baldwin took gold medals for first place wins in wheelchair basketball and sitting volleyball (team events), while individually earning a bronze medal in shot put. The former 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division Soldier also competed in the 50-meter freestyle and backstroke events as well as discus.
Before the trials kicked off, athletes trained in each event with coaches specializing in their sports. Baldwin learned to backstroke the week prior to competing in the event. "I was nervous at first, but once they taught me some techniques that showed me I wasn't going to sink, I was okay," she said.
"Having coaches for each sport really helped," said Baldwin. "No matter what happens, I still came away from the trials learning a lot in each of my events."
Specialist Amanda Lyle of Paducah, Ky. pedaled her way to a silver medal in recumbent cycling, after only riding for about five months. The former 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade Soldier out of Fort Bliss, Texas also competed in prone and standing air rifle, discus and sitting volleyball competitions.
Lyle, who was very active before her car accident in 2012 and even played weekly flag football with her unit, said that it was hard to hear doctors say that she might have permanent limitations. "To be told that I'm never going to be able to do stuff like that again, it really tore me down," said Lyle. "Getting on a bike has helped build up my motivation and find hope again, I love it."
"It meant so much to me, to be part of the trials and possibly become a part of the Army team," said Lyle.
The Army Warrior Games Trials included athletes from the Army, Marines and Air Force who faced off in archery, basketball, cycling, track and field, swimming, shooting, sitting volleyball and wheelchair basketball.
Participants in the trials included athletes with spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, visual impairment, serious illnesses and amputations.
"So many people came out to play at the trials that the games got very competitive," said Baldwin. "I had fun, the competition was intense and the coaches were great."
Both athletes shared their appreciation for the WTB's Adaptive Reconditioning Program staff.
"Anytime I think I can't do something, the ARP team not only tells me that I can, but they show me how to adapt it to my abilities," said Lyle. "In the military, we adapt and overcome. That's what I have been able to do, thanks to ARP."
For more information on the Warrior Games Trials, the upcoming Warrior Games and the competing athletes, visit the Army Warrior Transition Command website at www.wtc.army.mil.