The 2016 Invictus Games has announced the six competitors who will take part in this Saturday’s “Invictus Dash” at the 109th NYRR Millrose Games. The race will feature American service members, active duty and retired, five of whom are training to represent the 2016 Invictus US Team at the 2016 Invictus Games, held May 8-12 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort in Kissimmee, Fla.
Created through a partnership between the 2016 Invictus Games, the Department of Defense and the NYRR Millrose Games, the new featured race will bring Invictus competitors alongside many of the nation’s top track and field athletes at one of the most prestigious indoor track and field meets in the United States.
The 2016 Invictus Games, presented by Jaguar Land Rover, is the only international adaptive sporting event for ill, injured and wounded active duty and retired service men and women. The Games will bring over 500 hundred competitors from 15 nations to compete in 10 sports, including track and field.
“We are honored to participate in the famed Millrose Games,” said Retired U.S. Army Captain Will Reynolds, Invictus Dash competitor. “We hope our sprint will shine a light on the power of adaptive sports in supporting our recovery and inspire others to see what is possible after injury.”
Retired U.S. Army Captain Will Reynolds lost his leg after an improvised explosive devise detonated in Iraq. He underwent 26 surgeries as doctors tried to save his left leg but they ended up amputating the leg at the knee. Reynolds served until 2008 in Fort Benning, GA; South Korea; Iraq; and the Washington, D.C. area. Following his two years of rehabilitation, he earned a Masters of Business Administration and a Masters degree in Public Health from the University of Rochester, New York. He now works as a manager with Deloitte and lives with his wife Cassandra and children Malachi, Gabrielle, Genevieve, and Evangeline in Bethesda, MD.
Captain Reynolds will be joined in “The Invictus Dash” by:
Retired USMC Lance Corporal Joshua Wege was injured during his tour to Afghanistan in 2009 with the Marine Corps. While in rehabilitation, Wege learned about adaptive sports at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington, D.C. He currently competes with the Wounded Warriors Amputee Softball Team. He is also working towards a degree from Florida Gulf Coast University in Ft. Myers, FL., with the goal of becoming a certified prosthetist.
Retired U.S. Army Sergeant Ana Manciaz, lost her right left after a motorcycle accident. Growing up in Los Lunas, NM she always remained athletic, but following her injury sports has taken a whole new meaning – both physically and mentally. Manciaz recently completed in her first triathlon season. She hopes to compete in the triathlon at the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo.
Staff Sergeant Gideon Connelly joined the Air National Guard in 2008 as an Aircraft Mechanic. In 2011, he was involved in a near-fatal motorcycle accident where he lost his left leg below the knee. He rehabilitated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Connelly returned to full duty and now serves as a Chaplain’s Assistant at the 175th Wing stationed at Martin State Airport, MD. Connelly takes part in many adaptive sports events, but his main love is sprinting. He won silver and bronze medals while competing in the 2014 Warrior Games and is currently training to be a part of the Paralympic track and field team for the 2016 Paralympic Games.
U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Robert Brown, a native of Moncks Corner, SC, was injured in 2006 while conducting operations in Iraq, which led to the eventual amputation of his right leg. Brown got involved with Paralympic track and field through the US Paralympic Military Sports Program and was later introduced to kayaking while rehabilitating at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
U.S. Army Sergeant Ryan McIntosh lost his right leg below the knee after stepping on a pressure-plate landmine while performing a routine mission in Afghanistan in 2010. An avid high school athlete, Sgt. McIntosh competed in track and football. Today, McIntosh competes in track and field, sitting volleyball and wheelchair rugby. He has competed in the 2012 and 2013 Warrior Games as well as the 2014 Invictus Games. McIntosh is assigned to Army World Class Athlete Program and resides in San Antonio, TX.
Captain Reynolds, Lance Corporal Wege, Sergeant Manciaz and Staff Sergeant Brown are training for the 2016 Invictus Games. Staff Sergeant Connelly is currently training for the 2016 Paralympic Games.
The 109th edition of the NYRR Millrose Games will take place on February 20, 2016 at the New Balance Track & Field Center from 12-6 p.m. Fans can watch the 2016 Invictus Games US Team hopefuls by checking the NYRR Millrose Games viewing information HERE.