COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AFNS) — Wounded warriors from around the U.S. and British armed forces battled it out May 1 in the cycling portion of the 2012 Wounded Warrior Games here.
In the first event of the week, the Air Force started off strong snagging the silver and bronze medals the in the menâ€™s recumbent cycling competition.
Marine Levi Marshall secured the winning time of 39:31 followed by Scott Bullis and Mike Sanders who tied for second place at 43:07. Damian Orslene rounded out the top three just .37 shy of second place with a time of 43:43.
The Air Force trio made an effort to finish the race together, regardless of medal rankings. Bullis and Sanders crossed the finish line hand-in-hand. Their shared second place turned Orsleneâ€™s fourth place into a third place bronze medal.
â€œI think that makes a great statement about what these games mean for (the Air Force team),â€ Orslene said. â€œIf it wasnâ€™t for these guys, I wouldnâ€™t be standing here with a medal around my neck. It sets the tone for the Air Force team. Weâ€™re not all about individual awards; itâ€™s about what we do for the team. These guys set the perfect example.â€
Bullis and Sanders both agreed that their performance was all about the team. The pair knew Orslene had mechanical troubles with his bike and decided help their wingman earn his way onto the winners block.
â€œBy doing something like what we did, we made a memory,â€ Sanders said. â€œAnd now weâ€™ve got a team that is probably very motivated and inspired. We want them to do the same thing throughout the games.â€
â€œItâ€™s not about racking up medals — itâ€™s nice to have them,â€ Bullis said. â€œItâ€™s about everybody working together.â€
Also in the menâ€™s recumbent, Anthony Simone finished 1:35:53.
The Army swept the competition in the womenâ€™s bicycle/recumbent/handcycle taking all three medals for the black and gold team, and the Marines followed suit in the menâ€™s bicycle open category.
The Marines and the Army each took home six medals for their teams, leaving the Air Force, Navy, U.S. Special Operations Command and British Armed Forces trailing in cycling.
Other Air Force cyclists include Gregg Rich in the physical disability category, who finished with a time of 1:07:48; Jeff Odom and Christopher Wolff, both in handcycling with respective times of 27:30 and 29:59; Jennifer Stone in the womenâ€™s bicycle finishing at 24:58, Ramina Oraha in the womenâ€™s recumbent at 32:51 and Adam Tanverdi in the menâ€™s bicycle open finished with a time of 53:48.