Invictus Games Orlando 2016 Showcased at 109th Nyrr Millrose Games
21 February 2016 – Five US competitors training for the Invictus Games Orlando 2016 this weekend took part in the “Invictus Dash” at the 109th NYRR Millrose Games ahead of the infamous NYRR Wannamaker Mile.
Created through a partnership between the 2016 Invictus Games Organising Committee, the Department of Defense and the NYRR Millrose Games, the new featured race brought Invictus Games competitors alongside many of the nation’s top track and field athletes at one of the most prestigious indoor track and field meets in the United States.
Invictus Games competitors were cheered on by decathlon world record holder and Olympic champion Ashton Eaton; Summer and Winter Olympian Lolo Jones; four-time Olympic champion and a nine-time world champion sprinter Allyson Felix; 1500 meter fourth place finisher at the 2012 London Olympics and defending men’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile champion Matthew Centrowitz; and 1500 meter American record holder and defending women’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile champion Shannon Rowbury.
One competitor who took part in the Invictus Dash is retired U.S. Army Captain Will Reynolds who lost his leg after an improvised explosive devise detonated in Iraq. He underwent 26 surgeries as doctors tried to save his left leg but they ended up amputating the leg at the knee.
Will Reynolds said: “We are honoured to participate in the famed Millrose Games. We hope our sprint shined a light on the power of adaptive sports in supporting our recovery and inspired others to see what is possible after injury.”
Captain Reynolds was joined by other competitors hoping to be selected as part of the USA at this year’s Invictus Games at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida.
Retired USMC Lance Corporal Joshua Wege was injured during his tour to Afghanistan in 2009 with the Marine Corps. While in rehabilitation, Wege learned about adaptive sports at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington, D.C. He currently competes with the Wounded Warriors Amputee Softball Team. He is also working towards a degree from Florida Gulf Coast University in Florida, with the goal of becoming a certified prosthetist.
Retired U.S. Army Sergeant Ana Manciaz lost her right left after a motorcycle accident. Growing up Ana always remained athletic, but following her injury sports has taken a whole new meaning – both physically and mentally. Manciaz recently completed in her first triathlon season. She hopes to compete in the triathlon at the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo.
U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Robert Brown, a native of Moncks Corner, SC, was injured in 2006 while conducting operations in Iraq, which led to the eventual amputation of his right leg. Brown got involved with Paralympic track and field through the US Paralympic Military Sports Program and was later introduced to kayaking while rehabilitating at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
U.S. Army Sergeant Ryan McIntosh lost his right leg below the knee after stepping on a pressure-plate landmine while performing a routine mission in Afghanistan in 2010. An avid high school athlete, Sgt. McIntosh competed in track and football. Today, McIntosh competes in track and field, sitting volleyball and wheelchair rugby. He has competed in the 2012 and 2013 Warrior Games as well as the 2014 Invictus Games.
Ken Fisher, co-CEO of the Invictus Games Orlando 2016 said: “The 2016 Invictus Games are a valuable opportunity to witness the incredible healing power of adaptive sports and to cheer on competitors and their families who have made countless sacrifices in defense of our nation. We were delighted to partner with the NYRR Millrose Games and greatly appreciate their support of the 2016 Invictus Games and our amazing competitors.”
The 2016 Invictus Games presented by Jaguar Land Rover will be held May 8-12, at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida. Over 500 hundred competitors from 15 nations are expected to compete in 10 sports including track and field.