By Jeremiah Delgado
On Oct. 31, CBS Sports Network will begin broadcasting a mini-series event called the Power Triumph Games. This event will feature 10 world-class military veteran athletes from different branches of the military competing for a $50,000 prize. These veterans have had to overcome catastrophic injuries to get to this point, but their will is going to be tested.
The 2016 Power Triumph Games will be staged at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, NY where these competitors will face eight new challenges that test their physical and mental capabilities. The challenges faced will be the same ones West Point cadets need to complete in order to graduate.
These competitors believe they have the mental toughness that is required for this competition, thanks to their military training. Former Marine and Army National Guard William Hansen says, “Military reveals toughness and strength. You have to face your fears in the military.” Hansen had to face his fear during the competition and explains which challenges he didn’t like.
“I have a horrible fear of heights since I was injured in Iraq. There was a tie between the zip-line and climbing the rope wall.”
Other veterans competing in this competition shared their thoughts about what could be a possible advantage for them in this competition. Isaac Francois is a former member of the U.S. Navy and he wants others to know his biggest advantage is his self-motivation.
“I think my biggest advantage is my ability to self-motivate. Once I get a certain level of motivation, it is game over for those other guys.”
Francois also says that there should be an attitude of no excuses because of his military experience.
“I think the can-do attitude along with discipline will go a long way in this competition. One thing I’ve learned during my tenure in the Navy; if the guy next to you can do it, then you have no excuse.”
All of these competitors have a different motivation for competing in the competition. Tyler Wells is an Airman and says his motivation comes from wanting to share his story with others. He wants to touch just one person and let them know that they can overcome their struggles no matter what it is.
Now, as for what challenge Wells liked the most, “I have a strong affinity for motorsports, or anything with four wheels and a motor for that matter, so I was most looking forward to that challenge.”
Sadie Strong is one of two woman participating in this competition and she has overcome a big obstacle like these other athletes to get here. Strong suffers from MST or Military Sexual Trauma and it is something that will always be with her.
“The hardest hurdle to overcome about my injury is that it will always be there. I will always be asked why I am no longer in the military. It’s hard for people to understand that I have my own battles as a veteran because on the outside I look normal and unharmed. Every time I tell someone my story and that I have MST I get shut down and no one knows how to handle it. The biggest hurdle for myself to overcome is to be confident in myself and my story , because it did happen, it made me who I am today and I am stronger because of it.”
She also feels that being a military veteran athlete is a lot like being a regular athlete.
“I think being a military veteran athlete is no different than being an athlete. Our goals are the same. I think as a veteran, our push and motivation might actually just be stronger than just a regular athlete. I love that in the military doing adaptive sports or just competitions and how competitive it is, but every second of the way the people you are trying to beat are actually cheering you on as well.”
Corwin Collier tells that being a military veteran athlete is cool because of what they get to show everyone they can do.
“It’s cool because we get to show people that even with our injuries we still can go out and compete. Plus I’m competitive, and growing up in athletics has been a big part of my life.”
Collier was already a track star prior to his time in the military, so his training for the competition was not all that strenuous as he puts it.
“I really didn’t do anything special. Since I was training for NPC North Americans I was just lifting and running.”
These athletes and five others will all compete for the prize of $50,000 and prove they are the most triumphant.
Watch the three-part series on CBS Sports Network starting Monday, October 31 at 9 p.m. ET. with a CBS Sports special of highlights from the Triumph Games on Saturday, November 19.
For more information about the 2016 Power Triumph Games, please visit www.ourvetsuccess.com.