Gallardo turned down a college baseball scholarship to enlist in the army. During his first combat tour Iraq in 2007, two IEDs detonated beneath the truck he was traveling in. His left leg and Achilles tendon were severely injured in the blast, requiring multiple attempts to salvage the leg. After nine months and no success, he made the decision to amputate his leg below the knee. He has gotten back into sports and competitions, completing the Kona IRONMAN in 15 hours and 36 minutes just nine months after his amputation. He earned a gold medal in the javelin throw at the 2019 Bydgoszcz Grand Prix, as well as a silver at the 2019 Arizona Grand Prix.
Away from the track:
Now retired from the Army, Gallardo received a Purple Heart for his service to the country. He also received an Emmy Award for his work as a digital graphic designer with Major League Baseball. When he isn’t training, he enjoys staying active through CrossFit and running the occasional triathlon.
In their own words:
“I want to inspire others.”
“I got an e-mail saying, ‘Does anyone have an interest in graphics design and working with Major League Baseball?’ I always had an interest in computers, but I knew nothing about them. I said, ‘Let me shoot them an email just to see what happens’. It’s never depressing or unsatisfying. You never have to wake up and say, ‘Man, do I have to go to work?’ You wake up, and you’re so excited to go to work today.”
“Never quit no matter what. Always fight it out.”
- Sport: Track & Field
- Limb Difference: Left below knee
- DOB: 9/11/84
- Residence: Los Angeles, CA
- College: Army
- Classification: F64