MANCHESTER, England — Sgt. 1st Class Elizabeth Marks, representing the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program and Team USA, added more achievements to an already decorated career at the 2023 Para Swimming World Championships at the Manchester Aquatics Center.
During the week-long competition, Marks’ talent and resilience earned her two bronze medals for Team USA. The competition featured athletes from 67 nations.
“I was pretty sick, but I had the support of my team there and back home. I had committed to giving them my best and I did,” Marks said. “It was brutal, but I’m proud of what we accomplished. That’s real life. You don’t always feel your best, but the team USA Physicians made sure that I was being safe and had excellent support to compete.”
In the women's 200-meter individual medley SM6, she clinched a bronze medal and followed with another bronze in the women’s 50 butterfly S6. Additionally, Marks placed fourth and fifth, respectively, in the women’s 50 freestyle S6 and women’s 100 backstroke S6.
Marks swam 3 minutes, 2.96 seconds in the 200 IM to stand on the podium with Germany’s Verena Schott and the United Kingdom’s Maisie Summers-Newton. In the 50 butterfly, she finished in 36.80 seconds to join Schott and China’s Yuyan Jing.
These championships, held every two years (with the exception of 2022 due to a delayed Paralympic Games), serve as a key preparatory ground for athletes, especially as they build momentum toward the Paralympic Games next summer in Paris. With Paris just around the corner, Marks' achievements in Manchester send a strong message about her readiness and determination to compete on the global stage next year.
“I’m excited for the work ahead of me,” Marks said. “It’s encouraging having such talented women to compete with.”
Athletes in in Para Sport are grouped in classes by the degree of activity limitation resulting from their impairments. This, to a certain extent, is similar to grouping athletes by age, gender or weight. The S6, and SM6 class includes athletes with several different types of disability including short stature, major limb impairment or loss in two limbs.
As the world anticipates the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, WCAP Soldier-Athletes such as Marks train rigorously and showcase their tenacity daily.
You can follow their journey on social media by following @USArmyWCAP or at www.armywcap.com.