Winning for the Country


Scot Severn won silver in the men's shot put during the 2013 IPC athletics World Championships in July 2013.

Three Paralyzed Veterans of America members won medals in July at the 2013 International Paralympic Committee Athletics World Championships in Lyon, France.

U.S. Army veteran Scot Severn of Caro, Mich., won a silver medal in the men’s shot put F52/53 with a throw of 8.26 meters in the fourth day of competition in Lyon, just weeks before the 24th anniversary of his life-changing spinal cord injury.

While serving with the U.S. Army Reserves at Camp Grayling, Mich., Severn was struck by lightning, resulting in quadriplegia. Having kept some of his upper body strength following his injury, Scot began bowling in hopes of staying fit. In 2003, he discovered wheelchair sports, and just one year later, he competed in his first National Veterans Wheelchair Games.

“My only regret about this world championships is that it is at the same time as the National Veterans Wheelchair Games, which I love being at,” Severn said. “Hopefully, I’ll be able to make it next year. I’ve missed them two years in a row and I really miss them.”


Scott Winkler won bronze in the men's shot put during the 2013 IPC athletics World Championships in July 2013

U.S. Army veteran CeCe Mazyck of Columbia, S.C., won a bronze medal in the women’s javelin F57/58 with a throw of 19.83, just two-hundreths shy of a silver medal.

“It felt awesome to find out I was on the podium,” Mazyck said. “Thank you, Jesus. I made it on the podium. It felt awesome to do this and to represent Team USA. I came here to do it, and I did it.”

Mazyck was serving as a first sergeant in the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C., when in 2003, a parachuting accident left her paralyzed from the waist down. While doctors told Mazyck she would never walk again, she can now walk short distances with only the aid of a cane.

U.S. Army veteran Scott Winkler of Pittsburgh, Pa., won a bronze medal in the men’s shot put F54/55 with a throw of 10.82 meters on day eight of the competition in Lyon.

“I used to fight for my country,” Winkler said. “Now I win for it.”

Winkler was serving in Iraq in 2003 when he fell off of a truck and severely damaged his spinal cord, resulting in paralysis from the chest down. In 2006, he tried discus and shot put at the Paralympic Military Sports Camp, and just one year later, he set a world record in shot put at the Paralympics Track and Field National Championship.

Winkler also founded Champions Made From Adversity, a nonprofit organization that helps people with disabilities and their families participate in sports and leisure activities.

The International Paralympic Committee Athletics World Championships took place July 19-28, 2013, and included more than 1,100 athletes from nearly 100 countries. Ten veterans and two active duty service members representing four military branches were among the 76 members on Team USA

 

Originally published by Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA). All rights reserved.

Gallery photos by Christopher Di Virgilio

 

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