Paralyzed Veteran to Compete in Her First Triathlon

Vet and Team Hope For The Warriors Tampa to Compete in St. Anthony’s Tri

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It's hard to put into words the joy and smiles on the faces of veterans and service members when they compete in these events.

St. Petersburg, FL (PRWEB) April 16, 2014

There will be many first time triathletes competing in this year’s St. Anthony’s Triathlon in St. Petersburg, FL on Sunday, April 27, 2014, but few as determined as Army Veteran Pam Kelly. Kelly, who is paralyzed from the waist down, has been training diligently in the pool and on her handcycle along with members of Team Hope For The Warriors® Tampa. The Team is a local community group that is part of Hope For The Warriors® (http://www.hopeforthewarriors.org), a national nonprofit organization that assists post-9/11 service members, their families, and families of the fallen who have sustained physical and psychological wounds in the line of duty.    

Kelly, a resident of Pinellas Park, is considered an incomplete quadriplegic. She is paralyzed from the waist down and does not have use of her right arm. Her swimming and handcycling is solely powered by her left arm. Kelly served in the Army from 1989 – 2006. In 2002, she was crushed by a generator during a training exercise.

Karla Malone is the Team Captain from Team Hope For The Warriors® in Tampa. Kelly and Malone have trained together for several months, building up strength, endurance, and the skills needed to complete the three part of event. Kelly will join the Team in a tri relay over the Easter weekend. St. Anthony’s will be her first solo triathlon. Malone will assist with the transitions in and out of the water and will follow along the bike and run. The strength and power will be completely up to Kelly.

“It's hard to put into words the joy and smiles on the faces of veterans and service members when they compete in these events,” Malone said.

Kelly does not shy away from challenging athletic endeavors. She enjoys skiing and last year competed in the National Veterans Wheelchair Games in the sports of bowling, air gun, and archery, utilizing adaptive equipment and techniques. For example, she competes in archery utilizing her left arm and her teeth. She is excited to return to the Games this August in Philadelphia.

Team Hope For The Warriors® provides athletes of all abilities the opportunity to engage the competitive spirit at endurance events. Warrior Team members are provided adaptive equipment and race support to ensure that they are defined by their achievements rather than by their injuries. Community Team members challenge themselves to raise funds for America’s heroes, set new athletic goals, or simply support our military. Together, these Team members are united by the goal to improve the rehabilitation of combat wounded service members and military families.

Anyone can join Team Hope For The Warriors® for races and athletic events throughout the year and throughout the country. Visit http://www.hopeforthewarriors.org to learn more.

The mission of Hope For The Warriors® is to enhance the quality of life for post-9/11 service members, their families, and families of the fallen who have sustained physical and psychological wounds in the line of duty. Hope For The Warriors® is dedicated to restoring a sense of self, restoring the family unit, and restoring hope for our service members and our military families.

Hope For The Warriors® has earned a Four-Star Rating from Charity Navigator (http://www.charitynavigator.org) for three consecutive years. Charity Navigator is an independent organization that evaluates fiscal responsibility and accountability of nonprofits.

Hope For The Warriors® (Federal Tax ID 20-5182295) is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charity as defined in sections 509(A)(1) and 170(B)(1)(A)(VI) of the Internal Revenue Code. Combined Federal Campaign, CFC #27800.

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