Rifle grad seeks medals at 2013 Warrior Games
Special to the Citizen Telegram
A Rifle High School graduate knows how an explosion, crash, gunshot, sickness or emotional trauma can push a military service member to a place of unfamiliarity: the sidelines. And through the healing process, Paralympic sport gives many survivors the chance to prove anyone can overcome disability.
Army Sgt. Ryan McIntosh, son of Randy McIntosh of Rifle, is competing for the Army team during the 2013 Warrior Games at the U.S. Olympic Training Center and at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. The event wraps up on Friday, May 17.
Throughout the seven-day event, wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans from the Army, Marines, Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard, as well as some from Special Operations Command, and a team from the British military compete in track and field, shooting, swimming, cycling, archery, wheelchair basketball and sitting volleyball.
McIntosh is competing for the gold in track and field, swimming, sitting volleyball and wheelchair basketball. In 2012, he took home the gold medal in wheelchair basketball, silver medals in two track events and a bronze medal in swimming. He is excited to compete in his second Warrior Games.
“It feels good to represent my family and the Army. I hope to medal in all of my events this year,” said the 2007 Rifle High School graduate.
On Dec. 8, 2010, while serving in Afghanistan, McIntosh stepped on a pressure-plate landmine resulting in injuries and the amputation of his right leg below the knee. Though he is an amputee, he still serves in the Army.
“I’m still in the uniform. People have told me I wouldn’t be able to do a lot of things but I don’t limit myself,” he said.
McIntosh said adaptive sports and competitions like the Warrior Games helped with his recovery.
“Without adaptive sports, I would not be where I am today,” he said. “Through sports, I realized that I am the same person I was before.”
McIntosh has helped newly wounded soldiers in their recovery efforts.
“I’m helping other soldiers with their physical therapy by finding sports for them to get back into,” he said. “The soldiers are pretty positive toward me because they see I’m still serving my country, and it motivates them.”
McIntosh said his family and friends support him, and that means everything to him.
“My family keeps me going. If I didn’t have them, there is no way I would be competing in the Warrior Games,” he said.
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The Garfield County coroner has identified the pedestrian who was killed in a one-vehicle crash on Highway 6 in Rifle Wednesday morning.