Melissa Stockwell

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Melissa Stockwell
US Navy 101005-N-2055M-012 Former Army soldier Melissa Stockwell, from Chicago, speaks to her fellow injured service members during one of the annu.jpg
Stockwell speaking to fellow injured service members
Personal information
Born (1980-04-23) 23 April 1980 (age 34)
Grand Haven, MI
Height 5 feet 5 inches (1.65 m)[1]
Weight 130 lb (59 kg)[1]

Melissa Stockwell 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 has been on the board of directors of the Wounded Warrior Project since 2005.[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 18 Jan 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 18 Jan 2013. 
  11. ^ "Melissa Stockwell, JP Theberge Named USA Paratriathlon Athletes of the Year". USA Triathlon. Retrieved 18 Jan 2013. 
  12. ^ "Rankings Tri2 Women". 2012-10-24. Retrieved 2013-01-26. 
  13. ^ "Dare2Tri". Retrieved 18 Jan 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]