By Jyremy Reid
FORT BELVOIR, Va. — The world of adaptive sports entered the life of retired Staff Sgt. Beth King as a blessing in disguise. Being the resilient person that she is, King avidly anticipates her debut at the 2022 Invictus Games in The Hague, The Netherlands.
Back in 2011, King suffered a traumatic brain injury along with other severe ailments from a near-fatal helicopter crash in Afghanistan. Through competition and adaptive sports, she found her niche and regained her confidence.
“There’s a lot of excitement,” she said enthusiastically. “This [Invictus Games] has been building up for what seems like forever. Overall it’s about resiliency…fighting through the hardships.”
King plans to participate in several sports during the games including cycling, rowing, field sports and powerlifting. She appreciates the variety that every event provides. King became particularly reminiscent of cycling - her first love.
“Cycling is where it all started for me,” she reminisced. “It was the only sport I did and for a long time, I thought it was the only sport I could do. Honestly, I’m excited about every single sport and what I can bring to each of them.”
King also mentioned that this will be her last time participating in the recumbent race due to the condition of her feet. Her last race in this event was at the 2019 Warrior Games, and as she trained at Fort Belvoir in preparation for the Invictus Games, she hoped to finish the event strong. She was excited to compete in the event again, but sad it will be her last.
“I’m both happy and down about this,” she added.
King recently received the honor of being named the sport captain for the powerlifting team. Throughout her time training, she has seen the many benefits of adaptive sports in her life and credits them to her personal and physical growth. As she further reflected on her journey, she said, “All the training and preparation for these sports has truly helped me move along in recovery and other things.”