Melissa Stockwell

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Melissa Stockwell
Stockwell lights the cauldron at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs April 30 to officially kick off the 2012 Warrior Games.
Personal information
Born (1980-04-23) April 23, 1980 (age 35)
Grand Haven, Michigan, U.S.
Height 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)[1]
Weight 130 lb (59 kg)[1]

Melissa Stockwell (born April 23, 1980) is an American paratriathlete and former Paralympic swimmer and U.S. Army officer.

Military career[edit]

A first lieutenant, she was the first female soldier to lose a limb in the Iraq War. She lost her left leg when a roadside bomb exploded when she was leading a convoy in Baghdad.[2] For her service in Iraq she was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.[3] Following her retirement from the military she works as a prosthetist[4] and served on the board of directors of the Wounded Warrior Project from 2005-2014.[4]


She subsequently became the first Iraq veteran chosen for the Paralympics.[5] She competed in three swimming events, the 100 m butterfly, 100 m freestyle, and 400 m freestyle, at the 2008 Summer Paralympics, and finished sixth, fifth, and fourth in her heats, respectively.[6] She was the U.S. team's flag bearer at the closing ceremonies.[3]

Turning to triathlon after the Beijing Paralympics, Stockwell was selected to represent the USA in the 2010 ITU Paratriathlon World Championships in Budapest. She won the Women's TRI-2 (above knee amputee) class, then successfully defended her TRI-2 World Champion title in 2011 and 2012.[7] She is a multiple US National Paratriathlon Champion in her classification,[8][9] and was named USAT Paratriathlete of the Year in 2010[10] and 2011.[11] As of January 2013 Stockwell is at the top of the ITU's rankings in the women's TRI-2 class.[12]

Stockwell is a Level 1 USAT Triathlon coach and co-founder of Dare2Tri, a Chicago-based triathlon club specifically for athletes with disability.[4][13]



  1. ^ a b "Melissa Stockwell". Retrieved 2013-01-18. 
  2. ^ Stein, Ann. "Stories of Inspiration: Melissa – Amputee, First female soldier to lose limb in Iraq discovers new life after injury". Retrieved 2008-07-03. 
  3. ^ a b Dugan Kusumoto, Tara (September 16, 2008). "Melissa Stockwell, Iraq War Veteran, Elected as Flag Bearer for Closing Ceremonies". United States Olympic Committee. Retrieved 2008-10-25. 
  4. ^ a b c "Board of Directors – Melissa Stockwell". Wounded Warrior Project. Retrieved January 18, 2013. 
  5. ^ "First Iraq war veteran chosen for Paralympics Melissa Stockwell, who lost leg to roadside bomb, makes U.S. swim team". Associated Press. April 6, 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-03. 
  6. ^ Melissa stockwell's profile on
  7. ^ "Melissa Stockwell: Results". International Triathlon Union. 
  8. ^ "Paratriathletes compete for slots and title at USA Paratriathlon National Championship". everymantri. Aug 2011. 
  9. ^ "Top Paratriathletes Earn USA Paratriathlon National Titles". USA Triathlon. May 2012. 
  10. ^ "USA Triathlon Announces Paratriathletes Of The Year". Jan 2011. Retrieved January 18, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Melissa Stockwell, JP Theberge Named USA Paratriathlon Athletes of the Year". USA Triathlon. Retrieved January 18, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Rankings Tri2 Women" (PDF). 2012-10-24. Retrieved 2013-01-26. 
  13. ^ "Dare2Tri". Retrieved January 18, 2013. 
  14. ^ Warrior Champions, Austin Film Festival
  15. ^ New Jersey. "Stockton to host screening of 'Warrior Champions: From Baghdad to Beijing'". Retrieved 2013-01-18. 

External links[edit]