Former Army cadet wins Paralympic silver
September 4, 2012
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LONDON (Army News Service, Sept. 4, 2012) -- Many athletes would have called it quits after just one of the adversities former Army cadet Jennifer Schuble experienced: a traumatic brain injury during hand-to-hand combat training at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.; a later car accident in which her right arm was crushed and her brain injury was exacerbated; and then a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis in 2004.
But Jennifer Schuble, once a three-letter varsity athlete at the academy, just wouldn't quit. She persevered and won a silver medal in the in the 500-meter time trial paracycling event, Sept. 1, at the Olympic Park's Velodrome. She took gold in that event during the 2008 Beijing Paralympics.
"I knew I had to time the (starting) gate just right," she said. "I had to get out fast. (I knew) I could jump it after all the false starts that happened earlier by other competitors throughout the week, and I timed the gate just right and went out like a rock star. I had the fastest lap, and I was holding on for dear life. I rode the fastest lap I've ever rode. It wasn't a gold medal round -- I didn't defend my gold title -- but still, Sarah rode a great ride (Sarah Storey of Great Britain, took the gold)."
Schuble also has a bronze medal to add to her accomplishments, earned with her teammates in the team sprint cycling event, Sept. 2.
Although she faced many mental and physical hurdles, Schuble has demonstrated the ability to continuously adapt and overcome the challenges of her disabilities.
"What helped me get through this is I set goals for myself," she said. "I keep looking forward. I don't look back. And that's what kept me focused."
Schuble has been working in the gym to improve her balance and coordination. "That's what's kept me healthy and my disease in check," she said.
Along with her resilience in overcoming her disabilities to be a successful Paralympic athlete, Schuble has applied her drive to academics as well. She graduated from the University of Alabama with a master's in production operation research, and she works full-time as an engineer for Mercedes-Benz.
Although she didn't take gold this time, Schuble said she is satisfied with her performance after training for the last four years and still has two more events to medal.
"I rode a personal best," she said, adding, "I can't be more happy."