JUNE 21, 2016, WEST POINT, N.Y. (NNS) – Navy wounded warrior athletes excelled at shooting events during the fourth day of competition, at the Department of Defense Warrior Games in West Point, New York, June 19.
Shooting events involve competitors using air pistols and air rifles to fire a series of shots at a stationary, electric target. Shooting categories include air pistol, air rifle (standing) and air rifle (prone), all at a distance of 10 meters.
Senior Chief Culinary Specialist Maria Torres competed in the air rifle prone division.
“I won the bronze medal today and it was really exciting!” Torres said. “I was not expecting to [receive a] medal. We have an awesome team of Navy shooters and I just feel very blessed to have this opportunity.”
Torres was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, and in 2014 she was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in the bones. She shared feelings regarding her involvement with the Navy Wounded Warrior – Safe Harbor (NWW) adaptive sports program.
“Adaptive sports has kept my mind away from feeling sorry for myself and has given me a sense of accomplishment,” said Torres. “It has also helped me realize that there are still many things that are possible even in my current physical condition.”
Team Navy had a strong showing in the shooting competition, winning three gold and three bronze medals.
Retired Lt. j.g. Laura Root, who is competing in her third Warrior Games, won gold in the air rifle prone open event and bronze in the air rifle standing open event.
“For me, the greatest part of today was when the coaches from other teams, venue managers, and volunteers came in after the competition to thank Team Navy for being the most helpful and spirited,” said Root. “We really had fun out there today and it was great to watch our new athletes mentor fellow competitors.”
On the fifth, and final, day of competition for Team Navy — and first day of summer — 13 athletes competed in swimming. Events included 50-yard freestyle, 100-yard freestyle, 50-yard backstroke, 50-yard breaststroke, and 200-yard freestyle relays in both men’s and women’s categories.
Retired Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class Christopher Lowe competed in the 50-yard freestyle, 100-yard freestyle, 50-yard breast stroke, and 200-yard freestyle relay.
After an accidental false start by Lowe, the 50-yard freestyle heat began.
“I am thankful I was not disqualified after my false start, especially since I performed a personal best in the competition,” said Lowe. “I had a good time this week and that is a rare feeling when you do not have a job anymore and have a disability. Training for the games gave me a reason to get out of the bed in the morning.”
Thirty-eight seriously wounded, ill and injured Sailors are competing on behalf of Team Navy this year. The Warrior Games are being held June 15-21. Approximately 250 wounded warrior athletes are participating in the competition.
NWW, which sponsors Team Navy, is the Navy and Coast Guard’s wounded warrior support program. Team members have upper-body and/or lower-body injuries, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, visual impairments, serious illnesses and post-traumatic stress.
For the latest news about the DoD Warrior Games, visit http://warriorgames.dodlive.mil/ and follow NWW on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Visit http://www.safeharbor.navylive.dodlive.mil/ or call 855-628-9997 to learn more about NWW and the benefits of adaptive sports.
Navy Installations Command is comprised of about 52,000 military and civilian personnel worldwide and is responsible for the operations, maintenance and quality of life programs in support of the Navy’s finest fleet, Sailors and their families.