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Wounded warriors win big for Team USA at Paralympics

WashingtonExaminer
WashingtonExaminer
 2021-09-07

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T eam USA's Paralympic team was bolstered in Tokyo by active-duty and U.S. military veterans who won eight medals for their country.

Three active-duty soldiers, competing in shooting and swimming events, and 16 veterans, competing in cycling, rowing, archery, paratriathlon, track and field, wheelchair rugby, and wheelchair fencing, represented the United States at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games.

They won three gold, three silver, and two bronze medals, according to the Military Times .

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Retired Army Maj. Shawn Morelli, who served as an engineer in Afghanistan and Iraq , took home gold in road cycling and silver in track cycling.

Bradley Snyder, a retired Navy lieutenant who lost his eyesight due to an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan, won gold in the triathlon.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Elizabeth Marks, who is active duty, won three medals.

Marks, who lost a leg after injuring her hips in Iraq, obliterated the world record in the women's 100-meter backstroke to win gold, captured silver in the 50-meter freestyle, and took bronze in the 50-meter butterfly.

In wheelchair rugby, retired Marine Cpl. Raymond Hennagir helped his team take home the silver medal after falling short to Great Britain in the final.

Hennagir lost both legs and part of his left hand to an IED in Iraq near Fallujah.

On the track, Air Force veteran Ryan Pinney and retired Army Staff Sgt. "Freddie" De Los Santos teamed up to take bronze in a road cycling mixed-team relay.

Pinney broke his back in a 2012 BMX race, and De Los Santos suffered a traumatic brain injury and lost his right leg due to a rocket-propelled grenade attack in Afghanistan.

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These eight medals were part of the 104 total Team USA brought home from the games, including 37 gold, 36 silver, and 31 bronze.

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