Melissa Stockwell lost her leg to a roadside bomb just one month after being deployed in Iraq. Since this event Stockwell has accomplished a lot of firsts, the first female American soldier in history to lose a limb in active service and became the first Iraq War veteran to qualify for the Paralympic Games four years later. To start her Paralympic career, she competed at the Beijing 2008 Paralympics in swimming and later transitioned to the triathlon. In 2009 she made her debut, earning three consecutive world titles by 2010 to 2012. Later she went on to secure a spot on the inaugural U.S. paratriathlon team for the 2016 Paralympic Games, where she earned a bronze medal in the PT2 division. In the years since then, Stockwell has gone on to earn countless medals at championships across the country and throughout the world.
Away from competing:
Stockwell is very involved within her community outside of the Paralympic world. She co-founded a Paratriathlon Club, Dare2tri, based in Chicago to coach and encourage athletes throughout the training and competition process. As well as serving on the board of directors for foundations close to her including, USA Triathlon, USA Triathlon Women’s Committee, and the Wounded Warriors Project. If that wasn’t enough, Stockwell is also a licensed prosthetist and the mother of two kids.
In their own words:
“Life is too short. You might as well do the things you want to do. Don’t wait for tomorrow to do them. You should do them now.”
“I gain so much through sports. Being involved with them makes me feel as though I am whole again and can accomplish anything I put my mind to.”
- Sport: Triathlon
- Limb Difference:
- DOB: 1/31/80
- Residence: Chicago, IL
- College: University of Colorado-Boulder
- Previous Games: 2016
- Classification: PTS2