WEST POINT, N.Y. (NNS) -- The third day of events at the 2016 Department of Defense (DoD) Warrior Games culminated in 14 hours of competition for Team Navy wounded warriors in West Point, New York, June 18.
The competition began with 16 members of Team Navy competing in various races that included hand, recumbent, upright and tandem bicycles. Competition distances were 10, 15, and 20 kilometers, based on type of bicycle and athlete classification.
"The course was good; I raced beside a couple of Army girls and we were able to pace each other," said Operations Specialist 3rd Class Melissa Kltoz. "I surprised myself. I had a lot more energy than I thought. It's all about shutting your mind off and just doing it."
Based on unofficial results, Klotz medaled in the 20km upright cycling competition, and she offered advice to future athletes.
"No matter how able you are, anyone can be an athlete as long as you have the drive and determination," said Klotz.
This is Klotz's first DoD Warrior Games.
Retired Aviation Structural Mechanic 1st Class Andrew Johnson competed in the upright 30km race.
"It has been a good week for me; I just finished the 30km upright and I did a personal best, averaging an eight-minute lap, which means I am getting better and improving," said Johnson. "The course was awesome and the Unites Sates Military Academy has very nice facilities."
Johnson also shared feelings regarding his involvement with the Navy Wounded Warrior - Safe Harbor (NWW) program.
"Being involved in adaptive sports has given me a new lease on life, and competing in the DoD Warrior Games [has] been the carrot on the string in front of my nose making me push myself every year," he continued.
Following a two-hour break, Team Navy headed to Arvin Gym for the wheelchair basketball seeded matches. After four games in five hours, Navy advanced to the bronze medal match against Air Force. Air Force defeated Team Navy 41-38.
"We gave it everything we had and we just came up short; I don't think I've ever had that much fun and I couldn't be more proud of my team," said first-time competitor, retired Airman Chance Field.
According to Field, adaptive sports have made a tremendous impact on his life.
"Without it there's no telling where I'd be," added Field. "Adaptive sports have allowed me to set both short- and long-term goals and focus on those rather than my injury."
Thirty-eight seriously wounded, ill and injured Sailors are competing on behalf of Team Navy this year. The Warrior Games are being held June 15-22. Approximately 250 wounded warrior athletes are participating in the competition.
NWW, which sponsors Team Navy, is the Navy and Coast Guard's wounded warrior support program. Team members have upper-body and/or lower-body injuries, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, visual impairments, serious illnesses and post-traumatic stress.
For the latest news about the DoD Warrior Games, visit http://warriorgames.dodlive.mil/ and follow NWW on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Visit http://www.safeharbor.navylive.dodlive.mil/ or call 855-628-9997 to learn more about NWW and the benefits of adaptive sports.
Navy Installations Command is comprised of about 52,000 military and civilian personnel worldwide and is responsible for the operations, maintenance and quality of life programs in support of the Navy's finest fleet, Sailors and their families.
For more information, visit http://www.navy.mil/, http://www.facebook.com/usnavy/, or http://www.twitter.com/usnavy/.
For more news from Commander, Navy Installations Command, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/cni/ or http://www.cnic.navy.mil/.