COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (NNS) -- Team Navy member Lt. j.g. Laura Root became the first female to ever win a gold medal in shooting at the Warrior Games, May 13, in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Root took gold in the Air Rifle Prone position Open category. After excellent shooting in the qualifying rounds, Root entered the finals with a four-point advantage that could not be overtaken by her competitors.
"It was awesome to be able to represent women in the military like that. That was for all of us," said Root.
Root, who was diagnosed with a serious illness in 2011, outscored a field of 29 men and women in the competition. The shooting events are mixed gender, with the competitions being divided by type of gun, shooting position and type of disability of the athlete.
Retired Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician 1st Class John Kremer took gold in the Air Rifle Prone position SH1 category (lower-body injury). His gold medal was the first for Team Navy at these Warrior Games. To qualify for the final competition, Kremer shot a near-perfect score of 399 out of a possible 400 to put him in the highest seeding going into the finals.
After the shooting events, Team Navy competed in a wheelchair basketball game against Team Special Operations Command (SOCOM). The teams were closely matched throughout the game, with Team Navy up by three points with two minutes left in the game. Then, a late rally gave Team SOCOM a lead of one point. In the final minute of the game, a two-point shot by Retired Navy Aviation Electrician's Mate Steven Davis secured the win over SOCOM, 27-26.
Team Navy member retired Lieutenant Rickey Bennett, a chaplain who suffers with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and a traumatic brain injury after multiple combat deployments, led the spectators in enthusiastic cheers.
"It's awesome to see him like this," said his daughter, Bonnie Bennett, who accompanied him to the Warrior Games. "This is how he was before PTSD. He is so happy here."
The final events of the day were sitting volleyball matches, pitting Team Navy against teams from SOCOM and the British armed forces, with both matches going to three sets. Team Navy won the match against SOCOM and narrowly lost the match against the British, bringing the record of Team Navy's volleyball team to 2-2.
Team Navy is sponsored by Navy Wounded Warrior (NWW) - Safe Harbor, the Navy and Coast Guard's wounded warrior support program. The team members have upper-body and/or lower-body injuries, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, visual impairments, serious illnesses, and/or post-traumatic stress.
For the latest news about the 2013 Warrior Games, visit the NWW Facebook page (facebook.com/navysafehabor). For more information about NWW and adaptive athletics, call 855-NAVY WWP (628-9995), email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.navy.mil/local/cni/
For more news from Commander, Navy Installations Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/cni/.