By Benny Ontiveros June 17, 2014
WEST POINT, NEW YORK -- They came, they trained, and they won. Wounded Soldiers participating in the cycling event took a clean sweep in the recumbent class on June 15 during the 2014 U.S. Army Warrior Trials at West Point, New York.
The competitive Soldiers that are either ill, injured or wounded, raced on a challenging road that spread across the historic grounds of West Point. Different styles of bike frames and wounded warriors from other services including the Marines and Air Force participated in this event.
Fierce competition between the wounded warriors was evident but the strength and determination shined through at the awards ceremony where members from the men's Army cycling team grabbed all three medals.
First place gold medal winner was Staff Sgt. Eric Pardo, Brooke Army Medical Center, Warrior Transition Unit, Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Taking second place for the silver medal was Spc. Jason Blair, Warrior transition Unit, Fort Belvoir, Virginia and bronze medal recipient was Sgt. First Class David Hall from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Warrior Transition Unit, Bethesda, Maryland.
Two medals grabbed in the women's recumbent category were silver medal winner Spc. Amanda Lyle-Stone, Warrior Transition Unit, Fort Campbell, Kentucky and bronze medal winner Sgt. Jessica Brennan, Warrior Transition Unit, Fort Gordon, Georgia. Gold medal winner went to U.S. Air Force Veteran, Maj. Jennifer Kyseth from Sumter, South Carolina.
"It felt great to compete and win a medal in this event. The biggest challenge for me was chasing myself. Since this was a timed event, I had to keep the wheels spinning at all costs." said bronze medal winner Sgt. First Class David Hall, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Warrior Transition Unit, Bethesda, Maryland.
"I'm proud to see a highly motivated team compete and win. Adaptive sports training has impacted each of these courageous athletes and it proves itself by them being here and winning." said Jim Cunningham, U.S. Army cycling team head coach.
The Army's holistic approach through adaptive reconditioning helps recover and transition wounded, ill, and injured service members and veterans by helping them focus on maximizing their abilities.
"Adaptive sports has helped me overcome my injury. I communicate better with my battle buddies by working with excellent coaches and wounded athletes like myself." said Hall.
Today's event launched the official competition between wounded service members competing for a spot at the 2014 Wounded Warrior Games being held in Colorado Springs, Colorado.