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United States Department of Defense United States Department of Defense

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE: Military Paralympians - 2012

Military Paralympians - 2012
Published Aug 30, 2012

Twenty U.S. service members and veterans will be among the more than 4,000 athletes participating in the 2012 Paralympic Games, which began Aug. 29, 2012. The U.S. athletes will be competing in 20 Paralympic events.

Lead Photos


Video: Dempsey Salutes Paralympians and Wounded Warriors
Video: Joint Chiefs Chairman on Hand for Paralympics Opening Ceremony
Video: Opening Ceremonies for 2012 Paralympic Games in London
Video: Preparations for Paralympic Games Underway
Video: Navy Paralympic Athlete Inspires Others to Compete
Video: Wounded Warriors to Compete in 2012 Paralympics

Photo Essays

Photo Essay: Military Athletes Participate in Closing Ceremonies of 2012 Paralympic Games
Photo Essay: Military Veterans Participate in 2012 Paralympic Games
Photo Essay: U.S. Paralympic Rugby Team Competes in London
Photo Essay: U.S. Paralympians Compete in London
Photo Essay: Dempsey Attends 2012 Paralympic Games in London
Photo Essay: U.S. Paralympic Basketball Team Prepares for Games in London

"I cannot tell you how much you inspire us with your courage, with your determination, with athletic prowess, [and] with your physical strength, it's an incredible inspiration."
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta
2012 Warrior Games Recognition Ceremony

Related Links

Top Stories

Former Paratrooper Now Serves as Paralympian

After serving her country for nearly 10 years as a paratrooper, Centra "Cece" Mazyck continues to answer the nation's call at the 2012 Paralympic Games. Story

Paralympian 'Wouldn't Trade Injury'
After Opportunities Abound

Thumbnail: Eric Hollen, a former Army Ranger and a member of the 2012 U.S. Paralympic shooting team, aims at his target while competing in the 50-meter shooting competition at the Royal Artillery Barracks in London during the Paralympic Games, Sept. 6, 2012. DOD photo by Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.

During his 10-year journey to reach his first Paralympic Games, one U.S. athlete found opportunity where some would not, and now he says he wouldn't change the path that led him. Story

Former Navy Officer Continues
To Beat Odds After Stroke

Many U.S. Paralympic athletes have persevered through tough circumstances and refused to give up after acquiring a disability. Story

U.S. Paralympics Chief Lauds Athletes,
London Games

The Paralympic movement continues to grow as competition improves and opportunities to compete increase, providing fundamental growth to this burgeoning movement, the U.S. Paralympics chief said. Story

Wounded Vet, Paralympian Tells
Story of Perseverance

Navy Lt. Bradley Snyder, one of three active duty service members competing in the 2012 Paralympic Games, recalled the day he lost his sight while serving in Afghanistan. Story

Medalist Shares Experience
Of Paralympic Competition

The opportunity to compete in the 2012 Paralympic Games and to represent the United States has been a humbling experience, Navy Lt. Bradley Snyder told reporters in London. Story

Veteran Shares Wisdom With Young Paralympians

Thumbnail: Former Air Force Staff Sgt. Mario Rodriguez, right, a member of the 2012 U.S. Paralympic fencing team, squares off with France's Ludov LeMoine at London's ExCel Centre during the Paralympic Games, Sept. 4, 2012. DOD photo by U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.

The camaraderie of being part of a team is a draw to many athletes and can be traced to the origins of why many embarked on lengthy careers, staying the course even when things are not always going their way. Story

Former Cadet Captures Paralympic Silver Medal

Many Paralympic athletes participating in the 2012 Paralympic Games have overcome diseases, injuries or other afflictions. But not many have suffered through a combination of all of those factors and still rose above them to experience success in their chosen sports the way Jennifer Schuble has been able to. Story

Family Supports Marine
During Paralympic Competition

Thumbnail: U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Rene Renteria, a forward for the 2012 U.S. Paralympic Soccer Team, accelerates after stealing the soccer ball from a Brazil player during a soccer match at London's Riverbank Arena, Sept. 3, 2012. DOD photo by U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.

Marine Corps Cpl. Rene Renteria is one of three active-duty service members competing in the Paralympic Games and he credits his family with keeping him focused, especially during tough times. Story

Archery Quarterfinals Pit
U.S. Teammates Against Each Other

A quarterfinals archery match here today thrilled the 2012 Paralympic Games crowd, as two U.S. teammates squared off in a tight contest that came down to the last arrow. Story

Navy Lieutenant Sets Record
En Route to Paralympic Gold Medal

Thumbnail: Navy Lt. Bradley Snyder, a member of the 2012 U.S. Paralympic Swim Team, is greeted by his coach, Brian Loeffler, after winning the qualifying round of the 100-meter freestyle swim during the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, Aug. 30, 2012. Snyder won the event with a Paralympic record time of 57.18 seconds, and later earned the gold medal in the event’s final round. DOD photo by Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.

The United States had the Olympic performance of Baltimore native Michael Phelps to celebrate last month, and now the nation can rejoice in the dominating performance of U.S. Paralympic swimmer Navy Lt. Bradley Snyder. Story

More Stories


Thumbnail: Mario Rodriguez
Thumbnail: Dugie Denton
Thumbnail: Eric Hollen
Thumbnail: Centra Mazyck
Thumbnail: Kari Miller
Thumbnail: Joshua Olson
Thumbnail: Jennifer Schuble
Thumbnail: Scot Severn
Thumbnail: Jerry Shields
Thumbnail: Gavin Sibayan
Thumbnail: Scott Winkler
Thumbnail: Russell Wolfe
Thumbnail: Rob Jones
Thumbnail: Angela Madsen
Thumbnail: Rene Renteria
Thumbnail: Oz Sanchez
Thumbnail: Christopher Clemens
Thumbnail: Will Groulx
Thumbnail: Steven Peace
Thumbnail: Bradley Snyder
Mario Rodriguez

Mario Rodriguez
Wheelchair Fencing

A former U.S. Air Force staff sergeant, Rodriguez had part of his pelvis and leg surgically removed when doctors discovered he had a tumor in 1985. When physical therapy and rehab proved to be unsuccessful, Rodriguez elected to have the leg removed entirely in 1992 - a decision that ultimately brought him to the sport of wheelchair fencing. After reading about fencing in a magazine, Rodriguez won his first national title in 1995 and qualified to represent the United States at the Atlanta Paralympic Games a year later. Rodriguez has competed at the games in each of the three weapons – foil, epee and saber. He will make his fourth appearance in the Paralympics during this year's games in London.

Name: Dugie Denton

Dugie Denton
Para Archery

A native of Corpus Christie, Texas, Denton is participating in his first Paralympic Games in London. Among his career highlights: the bronze medal at the 2012 European Disabled Grand Prix in Open Compound; the bronze medal at the 2011 Parapan American Games in Open Compound; the gold medal at the 2010 Arizona Cup; and the silver medal at the 2009 European Grand Prix. He also placed fourth at the 2010 Texas Shoot Out. When he’s not honing his archery skills, Denton enjoys hunting, fishing, and raising Labrador retrievers.

Name: Eric Hollen

Eric Hollen
Para Shooting

A lifelong shooter, Hollen joined the Army and became an Army Ranger assigned to the 10th Special Forces Group. After receiving a life-altering injury in combat, Hollen focused on attending school and developing his shooting abilities. In 2010, he was named USA Shooting’s Paralympic Athlete of the Year. He returned to school at East Tennessee State University and then attended the University of Southern California.

Name: Centra Mazyck

Centra Mazyck
Para Track and Field

A native of Charleston, S.C., Mazyck was injured while doing a parachute jump with the Army's 82nd Airborne Division in November 2003. Among her accomplishments, she received the gold medal at the 2012 U.S. Paralympic Track and Field Trials, and placed first in both the 2012 Endeavor Games and Desert Challenge. Her hobbies include cooking and powerlifting.

Name: Kari Miller

Kari Miller
Para Sitting Volleyball

Miller had served in the Army, deploying to Bosnia and Korea, and was on leave, awaiting promotion to become an officer, when her car was struck by a drunk driver in December 1999. Miller's friend was killed in the accident, and Miller herself lost the use of both her legs due to injuries. In 2004, Miller was introduced to sitting volleyball as a student at Parkland College in Champaign, Ill., and became a member of the University of Illinois wheelchair basketball team. She was named to the U.S. Paralympics Women's Sitting Volleyball National Team in 2006, and soon after participated in the world championships in Roermond, Netherlands. After transferring to the University of Central Oklahoma to study education and veterinary studies, Miller received a pair of prosthetic running legs. She received the silver medal as a member of the U.S. Paralympic's Women's Sitting Volleyball Team at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing.

Name: Joshua Olson

Joshua Olson
Para Shooting

Olson, a native of Spokane, Wash., was injured in 2003, when his right leg was truck with a rocket-propelled grenade while on patrol in Iraq. While recovering at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., in 2004, Olson was instrumental in helping create a vacuum socket for individuals with hip disarticulation, allowing for the possibility of a more cosmetic socket; the invention was dubbed the "Olson Design." After spending 18 months at Walter Reed, Olson received his assignment to the Army Marksmanship Unit on Fort Benning, Ga., where he had served as a marksmanship instructor. In 2004, Olson became the first athlete with a physical disability to be nominated to the Army's World Class Athlete program, six months after receiving the Purple Heart from then-President George W. Bush. Olson began competitively shooting in 2005.

Name: Jennifer Schuble

Jennifer Schuble

A native of Lake Charles, La., Schuble will participate in her second Paralympic Games this year in London. At the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, she received the gold medal in the 500m time trial; the silver medal for the individual time trial; and the silver medal for the individual pursuit. Along with cycling and working a full-time job as an engineer for Mercedes-Benz Corp., Schuble, enjoys spending time with her English bulldog, playing cello and restoring her home.

Name: Scot Severn

Scot Severn
Para Track and Field

Severn made his Paralympic Games debut in 2008, competing in the men’s discus F53/54 and the men’s shot put F53/54. In 1989, he was on duty with the Army Reserves on Camp Grayling, Mich., when he was struck by lightning. The bolt threw him 40 feet and caused severe external and internal burns. The injuries left him an incomplete quadriplegic who uses a wheelchair for daily activities. He began participating in wheelchair sports in 2003. Among his accomplishments, Severn participated as a track and field team member at the Paralympic Games in Beijing in 2008. He serves as the sports director for the Michigan Paralyzed Veterans of America and on the Michigan Department of National Resources Accessibility Advisory Council.

Name: Jerry Shields

Jerry Shields
Para Archery

A native of North Carolina, Shields will be participating in his first Paralympic Games in London. Among his accomplishments, Shields participated in the 2012 Stoke Mandeville Open in W1 Compound; 2011 World Championships in W1 Compound; and received the gold medal in compound bow in 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010 at the National Veterans' Wheelchair Games.

Name: Gavin Sibayan

Gavin Sibayan
Para Soccer

A native of Westminster, Colo., Sibayan is retired from the Army. Among his career accomplishments, he participated in the 2012 Ukraine International Tournament and 2012 BT World Cup. He enjoys camping, fishing and sports.

Name: Scott Winkler

Scott Winkler
Para Track and Field

A Paralympic Games veteran, Winkler participated at the games in Beijing in 2008, where he placed fifth for shot put. He was first exposed to discus and shot put at the 2006 U.S. Olympic Committee Paralympic Military Sports Camp, where coaches first noticed his talent. An Army veteran, Winkler joined the service after high school, becoming a service technician. After a two-year break, he re-enlisted. In 2003, while was deployed to Tikrit, Iraq, Winkler fell from an ammo truck suffering injuries that resulted in paralysis. Winkler is co-founder of Champions Made from Adversity, a nonprofit organization that provides sports and leisure activities for people with a physical disability and their families.

Name: Russell Wolfe

Russell Wolfe
Para Archery

A native of Widnoon, Pa., Wolfe often spends time mentoring other veterans through the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Paralympic Ambassador Program. Among his career highlights, he received the bronze medal in the men’s individual recourse at the Parapan American Games in 2011; was a 2011 U.S. World Para Archery Championships team member; placed first in the men’s individual recurve W2-AAE Arizona Cup in Phoenix in 2010; and participated in the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing. He lives in Edemond, Okla.

Name: Rob Jones

Rob Jones
Para Rowing

A retired Marine, Jones became a bilateral above-the-knee amputee after being injured while deployed to Afghanistan. Jones said he chose rowing as a sport because it has the combination of ferocious effort harmonized with delicate technique. Jones lists his most memorable sporting achievements as finishing a national triathlon and winning the trunk and arms double sculls at the Non-Qualified Paralympics Trials. Among his other hobbies, he also enjoys reading, biking and stand-up comedy.

Name: Angela Madsen

Angela Madsen
Shot Put

Named by the Amateur Athletic Foundation as a recipient of the Women Who Inspire Us award, Madsen placed seventh in rowing in the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing. Madsen is the world record holder in shot put, and the Americas’ record holder in shot put and javelin. She received the silver medal in shot put at the 2011 Parapan American Games. She is a 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011 Guinness World rowing record holder. She resides in Long Beach, Calif.

Name: Rene Renteria

Rene Renteria
Para Soccer

A native of Sun Valley, Calif., Renteria will participate in his first Paralympic Games in London. Among his career accomplishments, he played during the 2010 All-Armed Forces Tournament in Hurlburt, Fla., and on the 2010 All-Marine Team. He resides on Camp Pendleton, Calif.

Name: Oz Sanchez

Oz Sanchez

A native of Los Angeles, Sanchez was a gold and bronze medalist at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing. Among his additional accomplishments, Sanchez received the gold medal in the road time trial at the 2011 Parapan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, and gold medals for the team trial and mixed team relay at the 2011 UCI Para-Cycling Road World Championships in Rosklide, Denmark. He served for six years in the Marine Corps, and earned a bachelor’s in business from San Diego State University. He works as a motivational speaker.

Name: Christopher Clemens

Christopher Clemens
Para Track and Field

A nine-year Navy veteran, Clemens was injured while serving in Afghanistan. Among his career accomplishments, he received the gold medal at the 2012 U.S. Paralympic Track and Field Trials in 100m and long jump.

Name: Will Groulx

Will Groulx
Wheelchair Rugby

A two-time Paralympian, Groulx participated in the 2004 and 2008 games. Among his career highlights, he received the gold medal at the Canada Cup in 2010, 2008 and 2006, and the gold medal at the 2010 and 2006 world championships;. Groulx was named the 2010 United States Quad Rugby Association Athlete of the Year. A native of Taejon, South Korea, he served in the U.S. Navy from 1995-2001. His hobbies include sports, reading and handcycling.

Name: Steven Peace

Steven Peace

Name: Bradley Snyder

Bradley Snyder

Snyder has spent his life in the water. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, he lost his vision while serving in Afghanistan in 2011, due to an improvised explosive device. He resides in Baltimore.

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