Athlete Year of Birth: 1980
Athlete Place of Birth: Grand Haven, MI
Athlete Weight: 59kg
Athlete Height: 165 cm / 5ft 5
Athlete Lives: United States
WTS Ranking: No Ranking
ITU Points List:: No Ranking
After swimming in Beijing, I started to run and bike more, and triathlon was the natural next step as I loved the workout variety it gave me. I competed in multiple triathlons on relay teams with the Challenged Athletes Foundation Operation Rebound team, and did my first full Olympic distance tri in Chicago in 2009.
The person who has had the most influence on my sporting career is the late Jimi Flowers, my swim coach leading up to and in Beijing. He taught me that anything is possible and that when you have a bad day, it is what it is.
I currently train in Chicago, IL, and during a typical week, I swim two hours, bike five hours, and run four hours. My personal best run time (5km) is 29:50. I’ve participated in the Challenged Athletes Foundation Operation Rebound, Wounded Warriors Project’s Soldier Ride, the Great Lakes Adaptive Sport Association. My triathlon goal is to qualify for the World Championship in Hungary.
The biggest obstacle I have overcome in life has been the loss of my leg from a roadside bomb in Iraq, in 2004, and learning to live my life without it, and to overcome anything that came my way.
Outside of triathlon, I work as a prosthetist, fitting other amputees with artificial limbs, and I love it. I am also active in various non-profit organizations, such as the Wounded Warrior Project, and the Challenged Athletes Foundation. I do some motivational speaking and try to stay involved with recent amputees coming back from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I have been married almost seven years and have a black lab named Jake.
Something the triathlon world doesn’t know about me is that I was the first wounded female from the war in Iraq.
Type of Impairment
Her left leg was amputated above the knee after she was injured by a roadside bomb while serving in Iraq in 2004. (melissastockwell.com, 02 Aug 2010)
Member of national team since
2010 (ussa.edu, 29 Aug 2014)
Reason for taking up this sport
She enjoyed the variety of sports it gave her.
To compete at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Sporting philosophy / motto
“All our dreams come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”
She was awarded the Zaharias Courage Award by the US Sports Academy in 2014.
She was named Female Para-Triathlete of the Year of 2010 and 2011 by USA Triathlon.
She carried the US flag at the closing ceremony of the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing. (Athlete, 02 Aug 2010)
She is a certified prosthetist and serves on the board of directors for the Wounded Warrior Project. She co-founded the Dare2tri Paratriathlon Club in Chicago, IL, United States.
Since 2002 she was stationed in Iraq as a 1st Lieutenant until she was involved in a roadside bomb explosion in 2004. She was medically retired from the army in 2005.
Hear more from the athlete via their website 1, website 2, Twitter and Facebook.
Athlete Language: English
Athlete Other Sports: She competed in swimming at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, and she handcycled the 2005 New York Marathon.
Athlete Education: Bachelor\'s degree in Communications from the University of Colorado in Boulder. A certificate in prosthetics from Century College in Minnesota, and soon to be a certified prosthetist.
Athlete Hobbies: Reading, travelling.
Athlete Children: Partner Brian, son Dallas 
Athlete Proudest Moment: Outside triathlon, making the 2008 Paralympic swim team and carrying the American flag into closing ceremonies at the Paralympics. Inside triathlon, winning my division at the 2009 Chicago triathlon.
Athlete Coach: Mike Durner, CTS