Team Army's voyage to the indoor rowing competition at DoD Warrior Games
By Joseph Jones, Madigan Army Medical Center Public Affairs
MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Team Army's indoor rowing competitors are in place and resilient as ever executing a long series of stationary rows during indoor rowing practice at Short Fitness and Sports Center on June 20, 2019, at MacDill Air Force Base. Indoor rowing is a very inclusive adaptive sport since indoor rowing machines can be modified to accommodate a wide range of disabilities.
"Adaptive sports like indoor rowing made me realize I'm not a one-dimensional athlete," explained U.S. Army retired Staff Sgt. Beth King of Deming, New Mexico. Endurance is a major component of indoor rowing at the competitive level.
In the adaptive sports approach, several modifications are employed.
Based on each athlete's functional classification, competition in the indoor rowing sport is done in upper-body-only categories, use of upper-body-and-trunk-only categories, or use of upper-body, trunk, and lower-body categories.
"I came to the Army Trials originally thinking I was just a cyclist, then I tried indoor rowing and really liked it. To me, recumbent cycling and rowing complement each other a lot as far as physically making me a better all-around athlete," King added.
Indoor rowing events include a one-minute individual sprint race and a four-minute individual endurance race. Athletes may be competing in one or both of these events. Athletes compete across six classification categories based on their specific functional abilities, including impaired muscle power, range of movement, limb deficiency or visual impairment.
Adaptive equipment is utilized to make indoor rowing more accessible to those with disabilities. Rowing machines, known as Ergs (ergometers), can be equipped with fixed seats, higher back seats, seat straps, and/or gripping devices to secure and stabilize athletes to the rowing equipment.
"It was an honor to be called up to be here with my friends," said Master Sgt. Cinnamon Wright, assigned to the Fort Campbell Warrior Transition Battalion. Wright is participating in the Department of Defense Warrior Games for the first time, and competing in the indoor rowing event. "You just learn a lot from the coaches and support staff. We learn off of each other as well. "The camaraderie is amazing; we are a team. It's an awesome feeling to be here."
Warrior Transition Battalions similar to Wright's are the backbone of the Warrior Care and Transition Program and play a key role in helping our wounded, ill and injured Soldiers as they recover and overcome. The DoD Warrior Games are a culmination of adaptive reconditioning that takes place in the WTBs, some of which are adaptive sports competitions for Soldiers who are recovering.
The indoor rowing events will take place Tuesday, June 25 at the Tampa Convention Center as part of the 2019 DoD Warrior Games which will run from June 21-30 in Tampa Bay, Florida. The athletes participating in the competition are comprised of wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans representing the United States Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Special Operations Command. Athletes from the United Kingdom Armed Forces, Australian Defence Force, Canadian Armed Forces, Royal Armed Forces of the Netherlands, and the Danish Armed Forces are also competing in this year's DoD Warrior Games.
For more information about the 2019 DoD Warrior Games visit: https://dodwarriorgames.com