The greatest athletes in the world are not those with big-name endorsements or their own line of footwear. You don’t see them on the news or critique their performance around the water cooler. The greatest athletes are the strong and resilient men and women of our nation’s armed forces, both active duty and retired, who gathered to compete in the 2015 Warrior Games. These competitors have faced life-altering changes due to injury and illness, yet have refused to be defined by their disabilities or limited by barriers.
Sean spent the month of June training for and competing in the 2015 Warrior Games held in Quantico, VA. He earned a gold medal in tandem cycling, a silver medal in the 400 meter run, and seven bronze medals in various track and field and swimming events.
During the Warrior Games the true value of adaptive sports and competition is evident. The athletes challenge their bodies and minds in ways they didn’t think possible after injury. Running on prosthetic legs, or tethered to a sighted guide, swimming with one or more missing limbs, racing on recumbent or tandem cycle, driving down the basketball court in a wheelchair with a fierce tenacity of a warrior.
For these athletes competition is not about winning, it’s about making huge strides in their personal recovery and refusing to be defeated by life-changing injuries and illnesses. Their spirit and persistence is truly inspirational to witness.
The changes I’ve seen in Sean this past year are incredible. He has improved energy, stamina, and a new outlook on life. When he is training and competing he is not held hostage by pain or depression and anxiety, he is part of a powerful team. For me, the greatest accomplishment is his fight to overcome his physical and mental hurdles to participate in adaptive sporting events. To me, and to our, family that’s worth all the gold medals in the world.
Sean and pilot Richard Kirby compete in the tandem cycling race (Photo credit SPC Ambraea Johnson)
Team Army sweeps gold, silver, and bronze (Photo credit PFC Anh Siev)
Army visually impaired cycling teams finish together to take the gold, silver and bronze in the 2015 Department of Defense Warrior Games at Marine Corps Base Quantico June 21, 2015. (DoD News photo by EJ Hersom)
Team Army tandem cyclists take the podium (Photo credit SPC Ambraea Johnson)
Shotput (Photo credit PFC Anh Siev)
800 meter run (Photo credit Ronald Wolf)
Visually impaired shotput medalists (Photo credit PFC Sandy Barrientos)
Team Army wins the Chairmans Cup presented by General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Photo credit SGT 1st Class Christophe D. Paul)
World War II Memorial
Sean appears at approximately 1:30, 2:45, and 3:55
Track and Field
Sean appears at approximately 0:55, 1:35, 2:00, 2:20, and 3:30
Sean appears at approximately 2:50 and 3:55
DoD Warrior Games 2015
Sean appears at approximately 0:15, 1:27, 1:53, 2:38, and 5:20
Fort Hood Sentinel
Army takes 9 medals in cycling at DoD Warrior Games
DVIDS–Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System
Army cyclists roll their way to the podium
Video: Cycling – U.S. Army Veteran Sean Johnson – 2015 Warrior Games
Video: 2015 Department of Defense Warrior Games WTC Version
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