COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Army News Service, May 20, 2011) -- Bronze was the color of the day for two Army athletes who each placed third in their categories during the Shooting Finals at the Olympic Training Center, here.
David Oliver earned the bronze in the air rifle prone SH2 category, while Army teammate and torch-bearer Joshua Bullis took the bronze in the air rifle standing SH2 category.
"I came into it pretty confident," Oliver said. "I definitely expected to make it into the final. This is my first competition, so a medal was a welcome surprise."
Rifle shooting was Bullis' only sport, but he was confident he could win. In addition to his bronze, he picked up sixth in the air rifle prone SH2 category as well.
The Shooting Finals are divided into eight categories: air rifle prone open, air rifle prone SH2 and SH1, air rifle standing open, air rifle standing SH2 and SH1, air pistol open and finally, air pistol SH1.
Open categories are for competitors who do not have a permanent disability. The SH2 category is made up of shooters who must use a shooting stand because they don't have the ability to support the weight of their firearm with their arms.
The SH1 category consists of all other competitors with permanent physical disabilities such as spinal cord injuries, leg amputees and strokes.
The shooters fired ten shots per target, then their scores were added to their qualification round score to determine their medal standing.
Oliver also shot in the air pistol SH1 category, placing seventh. He knew it was his weaker event and was pleased to make it to the finals.
In September 2009, Oliver's right arm was mangled in a Humvee rollover while he was riding in the gunner position. When the vehicle rolled, Oliver was tossed several feet away. He thinks his arm got crushed in the turret shield.
"I was just yelling for medics and all that, and told them to put a tourniquet on it and help me up, and I walked myself into (another) Humvee holding it against my chest."
The Warrior Games has helped Oliver achieve his best self, the support of his family and friends pushing him to win. He competed in the 800 meter race in Track and Field earlier this week, also receiving the bronze.
"It's just helped me personally display my 100 percent best," Oliver said.
Oliver admits he signed up for the Warrior Games out of boredom, but once he started training for his events, he discovered he was glad to have a reason to exercise and represent the Army.
"I'm definitely glad I came, and I recommend it for anyone," he said.
The 2011 Warrior Games, a joint effort between the U.S. Olympic Committee and the Department of Defense, is sponsored by Deloitte. For a complete competition schedule or list of event results, visit: http://www.usparalympics.org/warriorgames.