By Jyremy Reid
FORT BELVOIR, Va. — There are many things that can be said about the legend of retired U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ross Alewine, but complacent is not one of them. Over the years, he’s garnered a reputation as the ultimate competitor.
Alewine acquired multiple injuries across a multitude of combat deployments as an infantryman. Eventually, the strain on his body became too much to bear. After a ruptured Achilles tendon and shoulder injury, he received medical attention at the Soldier Recovery Unit at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. It would be here where adaptive sports made an appearance in his post-injury life.
As a representative of Team Army at the 2018 and 2019 Warrior Games, Alewine earned the award of Ultimate Champion. To receive this honor, he had to perform well across various sporting events and accumulated the most points.
In addition to the Warrior Games, he also competed in the 2018 Invictus Games in Sydney, Australia. This year, Alewine is set to make his second appearance at Invictus in The Hague, The Netherlands. Although he craves the competition, that aspect is only a small part of his excitement.
“It’s all about getting back with my brothers and sisters again and continuing to have that military comradery,” he said. “Watching my best friends compete in another country on top of that is the most inspiring thing. We’re all hyper-focused and ready to go.”
During Invictus Training Camp at Fort Belvoir, Alewine mentioned the top three events he’s looking forward to competing in the most.
“Starting from number three [on my list], I would say cycling,” he commented. “I love the real gritty stuff…number two would be powerlifting because it’s me against the bar. And number one for me is rowing…for one minute it’s me on the rower, giving it everything I’ve got.”
For any recovering Soldier who may have an interest in joining adaptive sports, but is still unsure, Alewine gave a few words of encouragement.
“To other Veterans, [I would say] get off the couch and just do it,” he exclaimed. “I had a guy challenge me once…and it kinda fired me up. Ever since then, I haven’t looked back. Just give it a try…maybe you’ll like it, and maybe you won’t. You’ll just have to try it to find out.”