Photo from Sualauvi Tuimaleali'ifano
A brief look at 2016 Invictus Games competitor Sualauvi "Sua" Tuimaleali'ifano
Despite being told he’d never walk again, U.S. Army veteran and Paralyzed Veterans of America Florida Gulf Coast chapter member Sualauvi “Sua” Tuimaleali’ifano will be representing Team USA at the 2016 Invictus Games in Orlando, Fla.
Tuimaleali’ifano served for 13 years in the Army, and was deployed on multiple tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan before being hurt in the line of duty. That injury left him a quadriplegic and ultimately cut his military service short. But, despite being told that he would never walk again and that he would most likely need to use a power wheelchair for the rest of his life, less than one year later, he proved doctors wrong and has regained some use of his arms and hands.
During his recovery process, Tuimaleali’ifano discovered a variety of adaptive sports that helped him focus more on his abilities and not his disability. He regularly participates in water skiing and became proficient enough in quad rugby to earn a spot on the Tampa Generals wheelchair quad rugby team.
Tuimaleali’ifano will be competing in the track and field events that is scheduled to take place May 10.
For more information about the 2016 Invictus Games please visit the Invictus Games Website.
Tune in to WatchESPN to watch live, May 8 – 12.