Roundup: Elizabeth Marks Shares Her Invictus Games Journey
by Karen Price
Every other week we scour the web for the latest going on in the world of U.S. Para swimming. Here’s what you missed!
Though the Invictus Games may not be part of the official Paralympic slate, the competition nonetheless showcases the benefits of sports for people with disabilities.
The biennial multi-sport competition, created in 2014 by Prince Harry, brings together active-duty military members and veterans from around the world to compete in various sports. This year’s edition, which took place earlier this month in Dusseldorf, Germany, drew 550 competitors from 21 countries competing in 10 sports, including swimming.
Though the competition isn’t designed specifically as a training ground for Paralympians, several athletes have made the jump, including Elizabeth Marks. The two-time Paralympian was featured in a story about the Invictus Games on the Paralympics’ official website.
“Competing in 2016 was soul healing for me,” Marks said in the story. “I am an accidental athlete and at the time I did not know how big the sports stage could be. Swimming there for the first time was a full circle moment because I got to show everyone that I was OK. It was beautiful.”
The story also notes that Marks carried the momentum of winning four events during the 2016 Invictus Games into the U.S. Paralympic Team Trials for Rio. She is now a two-time gold medalist who also has one silver and two bronze medals from two Paralympics, and will look to make her third Paralympic team next summer.
Read the full story here.
Strike A Pose
McKenzie Coan has a new title: fashion model.
The three-time Paralympian modeled for the Runway of Dreams Foundation’s fashion show in Brooklyn recently, strutting her stuff wearing an Adidas jacket and pants, both blue with white stripes, a white Adidas shirt and, of course, Adidas sneakers. The foundation is a nonprofit that promotes inclusion, acceptance and opportunity in the fashion and beauty industries for people with disabilities, and the show was called “A Fashion Revolution.” It featured adaptive and universally designed apparel, footwear and products from a number of companies and designers, and 70 models with a variety of disabilities and backgrounds.
Coan posted photos and wrote, “Thank you so much @runwayofdreams @mindyscheier and @adidas for this incredible opportunity! I’m truly honored to represent Adidas and see all they do to bring inclusivity and creativity to life in adaptive fashions!”
Details Set For Trials
Paralympic hopefuls know exactly where they’ll be come next June: Minneapolis. The 2024 U.S. Paralympic Team Trials will once again be held at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center on the University of Minnesota campus on June 27-29.
Summer Schmit, a University of Minnesota student, will be looking to make her second Paralympics.
“Making the U.S. Paralympic team for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games was a dream come true,” she said in a story on the US Para Swimming website. “I am excited to once again compete for a spot to represent Team USA during the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games. To do so in front of family and friends in my home state of Minnesota is truly an honor.”
Read the full story here.
ICYMI: Lawrence Sapp
Lawrence Sapp made his Paralympic debut in 2020, and now he’s training to make his second team at a new school. In this feature on the U.S. Paralympics Swimming website, read about his switch from University of Cincinnati to the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where he’ll be a part of the men’s swim team.
Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic and Paralympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to USParaSwimming.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.