By SSG Emily Anderson, WTC Stratcom
The Army athletes came to the finals focused on one thing, a medal. Little did they know they would be taking home 15. The swim team proved they are a force to be reckoned with after winning four gold, three silver, and eight bronze medals in the swimming finals during the 2011 Warrior Games.
“What we did was phenomenal,” said Holly Roselle, the Army’s swimming coach. “They came together this week and supported each other. Nice work.”
“They did things they hadn’t done before,” Roselle said. “They really stepped up and performed at a higher level.”
From Wednesday’s preliminaries to Friday’s finals, many of the finalists decreased their swim times by seconds, which helped them seal the win in a couple of swim meets.
“Many of them did better than they thought they would,” Roselle added. “We actually won more than we were slated to coming into the finals.”
MSG Rhoden Galloway, who won three of the four gold medals and one of the silver medals, agrees with Roselle.
“After you’re injured, you’re told you can’t do things and that’s crushing,” said Galloway. “Knowing you’ll never be able to run again, especially being in the military where you have to complete physical fitness tests, being able to run is important. Having the chance to swim gave us a chance to compete in adaptive sports again.”
The Army’s swimming medals are broken down as follows:
MSG Rhoden Galloway – 3 Gold, 1 Silver
SSG Kenny Griffith – 1 Bronze
SPC Michael Grover – 1 Bronze
SPC Andy Kingsley – 1 Silver, 2 Bronze
SSG Stefanie Mason – 1 Gold, 1 Bronze
SFC Landon Ranker – 1 Silver, 1 Bronze
CPL Harrison Ruzicka – 1 Silver, 1 Bronze
SPC Galen Ryan – 2 Silver
SGT Gavin Sibayan – 1 Bronze
Congratulations to all winners and to all who participated.
The day is now over. The swim goggles are hung up or folded away. These nine athletes will never forget last week. They showed that an illness or injury would not stop them from setting and reaching a goal, and they have the medals to prove it.