Monday, September 03, 2012

Veterans Having Success at the Paralympic Competition In London

Marine Corps Cpl. Rene Renteria dribbles away from a Brazilian opponent during a soccer match at the Riverbank Arena during the Paralympic Games in London, Sept. 3, 2012. DOD photo by Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.

Family Supports Marine During Paralympic Competition

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service
LONDON, Sept. 3, 2012 - The support of family helps to keep a service member grounded, whether serving in the military or competing in sports, the only active duty U.S. Marine in the 2012 Paralympic Games said here today.
Click photo for screen-resolution image
Marine Corps Cpl. Rene Renteria, left, a forward for the 2012 U.S. Paralympic soccer team, accelerates after stealing the ball from a Brazilian player during a Paralympic match at London's Riverbank Arena, Sept. 3, 2012. DOD photo by Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Marine Corps Cpl. Rene Renteria, a radar repairman by trade and assigned to the Wounded Warrior Battalion at Camp Pendleton, Calif., is one of three active-duty service members competing in the Paralympic Games. He credits his family with keeping him focused, especially during tough times.
"I have wife and a daughter," he said. "[They're] who I'm here for. They help me keep my head up, with whatever goes on. [Sometimes] it's a struggle – I guess it's just all mental."
Renteria said his wife was able to travel to Great Britain, along with his sister, to watch the Paralympic Games, but his daughter is in the United States with his parents.
The U.S. Paralympic soccer team forward, a native of Sun Valley, Calif., said his four years of military service have helped him reach the Paralympics. He has served a deployment [to Afghanistan, and he played on the 2010 All-Marines soccer team.
The first two games here have not gone well for the U.S. team, with losses to Ukraine, 9-0, and today to Brazil, 8-0. But Renteria still is proud of the team's efforts.
"Regardless of the score, we're going out there to compete," he said. "We've got to push ourselves to be better than the last play we just did. We have to try to focus, and you've got to have your head up." Great Britain is next up for the U.S. team tomorrow.
Renteria shared his thought process as he competes on the field and leads his team, trying to keep them as competitive as possible.
"You're trying to help the team," he said. "You want to be able to support your team with whatever you do. I try to be one of the best. I try putting myself in the right position at the right time. It's exciting."
The other Marines in his unit was very excited when they found out he would be competing in London, Renteria said. "[My unit was] more excited than I was coming here, just because I'm the first active from the Wounded Warrior [Battalion] to go to the Paralympics," he added.
"It's an exciting, surreal moment. So I'm just waiting to see what [reaction] I go back to," he said with a laugh.
Renteria said he was able to join the U.S. Paralympic soccer team through a sports medicine specialist at the Wounded Warrior Battalion who previously worked for the U.S. Olympic Committee and assisted him in contacting the team.
"My goal today was to go home with a medal," Renteria said. "Just having a good experience and to win. I don't want to leave without a win." He said he'll remain upbeat and "just keep my head up, and I know that things [will] always get better."
Meanwhile, his teammate, Gavin Sibayan, a retired Army veteran and defender/midfielder for the team, reflected on the transition from being a service member to a Paralympic athlete.
"It's awesome to go from defending your country to competing for your country," he said.
Related Sites:
U.S. Paralympics
Special Report: Military Paralympians

Former Army Cadet Captures Paralympic Silver Medal

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service
LONDON, Sept. 3, 2012 - Many Paralympic athletes participating in the 2012 Paralympic Games here 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, a former cadet and three-letter varsity athlete at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., has been able to.
The former Army cadet suffered a traumatic brain injury during hand-to-hand combat training at the academy. She later was involved in a car accident in which her right arm was crushed and her TBI was exacerbated. In a final challenging blow, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2004.
Schuble, now a two-time Paralympian, spoke to American Forces Network here yesterday about the thrill of winning her second medal Sept. 1 at the Olympic Park's Velodrome and the electrifying crowd.
"It's just amazing hearing all the noises, screaming and roaring," she said. "This is the loudest crowd I've ever raced in. And it's a sold-out crowd. It's just so amazing -- all these people, [and] they're screaming for us. It's just an environment that [brings excitement. People are wearing ear plugs [because] it's so loud in here. It's just like, 'Wow!"
Schuble won her silver medal in the in the 500-meter time trial paracycling event, an event in which she earned the gold medal during the 2008 Beijing Paralympics.
"I knew I had to time the [starting] gate just right," she said. "I had to get out fast. [I knew] I could jump it after all the false starts that happened earlier by other competitors throughout the week, and I timed the gate just right and went out like a rock star. I had the fastest lap, and I was holding on for dear life. I rode the fastest lap I've ever rode. It wasn't a gold medal round – I didn't defend my gold title – but still, Sarah [Storey of Great Britain] rode a great ride."
Schuble said she's pleased with her silver medal, and that she also has a bronze medal to add to her accomplishments, earned with her teammates in yesterday's team sprint cycling event.
Although she has faced many mental and physical hurdles, Schuble has demonstrated the ability to continuously adapt and overcome the challenges of her disabilities.
"What helped me get through this is I set goals for myself," she said. "I keep looking forward. I don't look back. And that's what kept me focused."
Schuble noted she's been working in the gym to improve her balance and coordination. "That's what's kept me healthy and my disease in check," she said.
Along with her resilience in overcoming her disabilities to be a successful Paralympic athlete, Schuble has applied her drive to academics as well. She graduated from the University of Alabama with a master's degree in production operation research, and she works full-time as an engineer for Mercedes-Benz Corp.
Although she didn't defend her gold here, Schuble said, she is satisfied with her performance after training for the last four years.
"I didn't get my Paralympic gold medal in the 500, but I got a silver, and I rode a personal best," she noted. "So, I mean, to get two medals so far in the [2012] Paralympic Games, and I still have two more events, I can't be more happy."
Related Sites:
U.S. Paralympics
Special Report: Military Paralympians

Team USA wins seven medals on day five of competition

September 3, 2012

LONDON – The 2012 U.S. Paralympic Team added seven more medals to its count at the London
2012 Paralympic Games, bringing its total to 40 medals. Below is a brief recap from today's events.

Jeff Fabry (Tulare, Calif.) won the first U.S. Paralympic gold medal in archery since 1984 on
Monday.  He beat David Drahoninsky of the Czech Republic in an exciting matchup despite missing an entire round. Fabry explained he didn't bring a back-up arrow and had to go back to the practice tent to get a replacement. Teammate Matt Stutzman (Fairfield, Iowa) will take home a silver medal from his first Paralympic Games. He came up short just short, 3-7 versus
Finland's Jere Forsberg. Eric Bennett (Surprise, Ariz.) finished just shy of the podium in fourth in the men's individual recurve-standing.  

Rebecca Hart (Erie, Pa.) and Jonathan Wentz (Richardson, Texas) rode their best tests
of the Games to jump to the top of the leaderboard, they then saw their totals eclipsed by the final rides in their divisions. Both finished their respective freestyle championships in fifth place, while teammate Dale Dedrick (Ann Arbor, Mich.) placed 10th on her horse Bonifatius. 

The women beat Australia 3-0 on Monday as Jen Armbruster (Portland, Ore.) scored all three goals for the U.S. team. They next take on Canada Tuesday in the Copper Box in the last round of preliminary round group D.  They are currently in 2-1 in pool play having defeated Sweden and falling to Japan earlier this week. 

Jen French (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and J.P. Creignou (St. Petersburg, Fla.) collected two more solid finishes to maintain their third overall position in the SKUD-18 event (Two Person Keelboat), while Mark LeBlanc (New Orleans, La.) slipped slightly to seventh overall in the 2.4mR (One Person Keelboat). Paul Callahan (Cape Coral, Fla.), Tom Brown (Castine, Maine) and Bradley Johnson (Pompano Beach, Fla.) are fourth in the Sonar (Three Person Keelboat). The team will compete again on September 4th with the Sonar fleet, then the SKUD-18 and 2.4mR .

Sitting Volleyball
Katie Holloway (Edmond, Okla.) led the volleyball team to a 3-0 rout of Brazil on the court
Monday going 14 for 20 on spikes. In a game that lasted one hour and one minute, the U.S. won 25-13, 25-20, 25-19.  Kari Miller (Edmond, Okla.) and team hope to get revenge on an earlier loss to China as the win helped Team USA to advance out of pool B.

The U.S. Paralympic Soccer Team had an 8-0 loss to Brazil in the preliminaries pool. With the loss they drop to 0-2. They take on Great Britain next on September 5th at 4:15pm.

Team USA had another successful night in the pool bringing the overall swimming medal count to 19. The women's team of Jessica Long (Baltimore, Md.), Susan Beth Scott (Cape Giradeau,
Mo.), Victoria Arlen (Exeter, N.H.), and Anna Eames (Golden Valley, Minn.) won silver in the 4x100m freestyle relay. In individual competition, Cortney Jordan (Henderson, Nev.) won silver in 100m freestyle (S7), while Letticia Martinez (Las Cruces, N.M.) finished in eighth in the 100m breaststroke (SB11).

The men's competition was highlighted by Lantz Lamback's (Augusta, Ga.) bronze in the 100m freestyle (S7). Navy Lt. Brad Snyder (St. Petersburg, Fla.) finished sixth in the 100m breaststroke

Track and Field
It was a busy day at Olympic Stadium, where U.S. track & field athletes won two more medals. Raymond Martin (Jersey City, N.J.) won gold in the men's 400m (T52), and Tatyana
McFadden won gold in the women's 400m (T54).

Wheelchair Tennis
The American women fell short in their quests for wheelchair tennis singles medals Monday at Eton Manor in Olympic Park. Emmy Kaiser (Ft. Mitchell, Ky.) and Mackenzie Soldan
(Louisville, Ky.) each lost two sets to none in the round of 16 playoffs against ranked players from Great Britain and Netherlands. Soldan teamed with Kaiser for a doubles match later on Monday, but fell to Germany in three tough sets 7-5, 2-6, 5-7.

The men's quad doubles team of Nick Taylor (Kansas City, Ks.) and David Wagner (Hillsboro, Ore.) beat Israel's Noam Gershony and Shraga Weinberg 6-3, 7-6 and continue their quest for a gold medal in tomorrow's final.

Women's Wheelchair Basketball
The U.S. women's team rallied to beat China 68-65 in the group B preliminary match at the 2012
Paralympic Games on Monday. Rebecca Murray (Whitewater, Wis.) led the U.S. team
in scoring with 30 points followed by Desiree Miller (Whitewater, Wis.) with 18 and Rose Hollermann (Elysian, Minn.) with 10 points. Team USA will return to the court on September 4th for the quarterfinals.

Men's Wheelchair Basketball
Jason Nelms (Emmett, Mich.) scored 21 points to lead the men's team to a 63-55 win over
Spain on Monday. Teammates Joshua Turek (Council Bluffs, Iowa) added 13 points and Jeremy Lade (Janesville, Wis.) was good for 10 more. The men will compete in elimination rounds beginning Wednesday.

Be sure to tune-in to NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) tomorrow, Sept. 4, as it will air a one-hour highlights show at 7 p.m. EDT. Action will include the men's 200m (T44) showdown, including American sprinters Blake Leeper and Jerome Singleton against South African Oscar Pistorius, who also competed in the 2012 Olympic Games. The show will also feature highlights from the Aquatics Center, including races from U.S. swimmers Jessica Long, Mallory Weggemann and Rudy Garcia-Tolson, as well as the U.S. Paralympic Men's Wheelchair Basketball Team,
the Women's Sitting Volleyball Team and more.

NBCSN will also air highlights shows on Sept. 5 at 7:30 p.m., Sept. 6 and 11 at 7 p.m. EDT.
For more information and results visit 

Sean P Eagan

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