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Bob Wieland      

Vietnam War Veteran, Double Amputee, Athlete & Wheelchair-Bound Inspiration

Bob Wieland is a Vietnam War veteran who lost his legs to a mortar mine in 1969. After recovering from his injuries he was inspired to become a marathon participant.

Over his lifetime he has finished many marathons, often taking multiple days to finish. He is the only double amputee to finish the difficult Kona, Hawaii Ironman race without a wheelchair. He "ran" across America on his hands, taking three years, eight months, and six days to travel from coast to coast.

Growing up in Wisconsin, Wieland attended the University of Wisconsin. A talented baseball player, he was negotiating a deal with the Philadelphia Phillies when he decided to join the Army as a combat medic.

In Vietnam in June 1969, his squad walked into a mine field. When a member of his unit stepped on a booby-trapped mortar, Wieland rushed to give first aid but he, too, stepped on an 82mm buried mortar, a round designed to destroy tanks. It severely damaged his legs; they had to be amputated above the knee.

After recovering from his injuries, he enrolled at California State University, Los Angeles majoring in education. After college, he joined the Green Bay Packers as a strength coach.

In November 1986, he completed the New York City Marathon, taking four days to complete the 26 mile race. In 1988 at 41, he finished the Los Angeles Marathon, taking 74.5 hours to finish the 26.2 mile race. He started the race a day earlier than everyone else and finished two days after the last runner had crossed the finish line.

Today, Wieland speaks at conventions, corporate meetings, military bases, universities, high schools and churches.

News


25 Years Later, a Marathon Finish Still Inspires

In Bob Wieland’s world, obstacles create opportunities and conquests breed inspiration.

Wieland was declared dead and taken away in a zipped-up body bag in 1969 after stepping on a mortar mine in Vietnam. But he awoke a half-hour later and now breathes life into battles against limitations with his speeches and ultradistance adventures that support charities. Missing his legs but full of heart, Wieland has completed six marathons on his hands. He finished the Ironman World Championship triathlon course in Hawaii in less than five days...

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