U.S. Army Veterans Train in Wheelchair Basketball at the 2022 Invictus Games Team U.S. Training Camp
Retired U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Hyoshin "Gabi" Cha prepares to compete in the Invictus Games, held in the Netherlands, by training in wheelchair basketball at the 2022 Invictus Games Team U.S. Training Camp, Fort Belvoir, Virginia, April 9, 2022. Team U.S is a part of more than 500 participants from 20 countries who will take part in The Invictus Games The Hague 2020 featuring ten adaptive sports, including archery, field, indoor rowing, powerlifting, swimming, track, sitting volleyball, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby, and a driving challenge.

(U.S. Army photo by Spc. Rhianna Ballenger) (Photo Credit: Spc. Rhianna Ballenger)

By Jyremy Reid

FORT BELVOIR, Va. — Challenges are meant to strengthen and forge anyone willing to endure the length of the trial. Sgt. 1st Class Hyoshin Cha faced the challenge of serious injuries to her back and hip during her first deployment to Iraq in 2006. Despite the odds, she served in the United States Army for 16 years.

Cha initially found out about Invictus and the Warrior Games in 2019 while working at the Soldier Recovery Unit in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. She was selected to be a part of the staff for the Warrior Games and Army Trials where she witnessed the positive impacts of adaptive sports.

Since she previously worked as an Army medic, continuing to work within the SRU only seemed right. Cha would eventually turn to adaptive sports as a recovery outlet after becoming medically retired and holds much excitement for the upcoming Invictus Games in The Hague, The Netherlands.

“The most exciting thing about this is how long we’ve waited for this event to finally happen again,” she said enthusiastically. “The roster is always changing and this has shown how many of our Soldiers can adapt and overcome uncertainties.”

Cha is set to compete in powerlifting, swimming, field and wheelchair basketball. She mentioned that powerlifting and wheelchair basketball are the two events she’s looking forward to participating in the most.

“I started from not being able to bench press any weight three years ago, to finally being able to lift the bar with weights,” she commented. “Wheelchair basketball is also great because it’s a team sport and we’re all rooting for each other.”

Cha avidly awaits the moment when she and her teammates will finally compete for a chance to win big in The Netherlands. Ultimately, the opportunity to represent her country makes all her previous challenges worth it in the end.