Members of the U.S. Special Operations Command team demonstrated strong performances during the Warrior Games cycling events as part of the 2015 Warrior Games in Quantico, Va. The team garnered a total of eight medals including four gold, two silver and two bronze.
Eighteen USSOCOM athletes participated in nine categories including hand-cycle, recumbent and open. In their respective categories, David Neumer , Lt. Col. Robin Pickel, Edwin Quiros Ortiz, and Chris Self, won gold medals; Sgt. Maj. Jerry Hochstedler, and Victor Sassoon won silver; and team captain, Master Sgt. Joseph Kapacziewski, and Sean Walsh won Bronze.
A performance by the USSOCOM Parachute Demonstration Team, the Para-Commandos, kicked off the cycling award ceremony in the afternoon. The jump team flew the flags of the United States, the United Kingdom, the armed services and USSOCOM and delivered the first round of medals to the winning competitors.
One of those competitors was Edwin Quiros Ortiz, a four-year veteran of the Games, bringing home his first gold medal within his individual cycling category.
“I attempted the cycling competition for the first time last year and earned a bronze,” Quiros Ortiz said. “My short-term goal was to earn a gold medal here, and I came prepared to do that. My long-term goal is to make it to the national team.”
The father of three concluded with another noteworthy aspect of the day, “This is a great event, and a gold medal is a great Father’s Day gift,” he said.
Throughout the week, athletes will continue to compete in adaptive sports including archery, field, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, track, and wheelchair basketball.
The 2015 Department of Defense Warrior Games is the preeminent Paralympic style athletic competition for our nation’s wounded, ill, and injured service members and veterans. Featuring 270 of the finest athletes from all military branches as well our partners in the British Armed Forces, the Warrior Games showcases the resiliency and fighting spirit of our service members and veterans, as well as the faithful support of their caregivers, families and the Military Adaptive Sports Program.