With the Winter Games underway in PyeongChang, South Korea, there is no better speaker to consider than Melissa Stockwell, an army veteran and paralympian who shares her story "From Wounded Warrior to World Champion" with groups.
When Stockwell, a U.S. Army First Lieutenant, woke up in a Baghdad emergency room on April 13, 2004, the furthest thing from her mind was sports. She was 24, and a roadside bomb had brought her to the hospital and claimed one leg. Following countless surgeries and infections, Stockwell took her first steps on her prosthetic leg.
Working with the Wounded Warrior Project
, Stockwell would go on to ski down the slopes of Breckenridge, CO. With Achilles' Freedom
, she handcycled the New York City Marathon in 2005. (She would return to the New York marathon -- as a runner -- years later.) And with The Challenged Athletes Foundation
, Stockwell competed in a triathlon.
In 2005, Stockwell decided to train for the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, China, held just weeks after the Olympic Games in the same venues.
After retiring from the Army in April 2005 with a Purple Heart and bronze star, the hard work began. At the end of 2007, she moved out to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO. When U.S. Paralympic Trials came around in April 2008, she qualified for the 2008 U.S. Paralympic Swim team.
Stockwell is the co-founder of Dare2Tri Paratriathlon Club
, which serves youth, adults, and injured service members.
To book Stockwell, contact Jaki Baskow at [email protected]