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Melissa Stockwell      

First Lieutenant (Retired) & Three-Time Paratriathlon World Champion

Melissa Stockwell is a retired first lieutenant and three-time paratriathlon world champion. She is an American war hero who has triumphed over personal tragedy to achieve greatness, World Champion status, and she has dedicated her life to chasing remarkable accomplishments while giving back to others, particularly those who face challenges similar to her own.

In 2002, Stockwell graduated from the University of Colorado and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army. In March 2004, she deployed to Baghdad, Iraq. Just three weeks later, a blast from a roadside bomb struck Melissa’s Humvee causing the loss of her left leg above the knee. After enduring numerous infections and surgeries, Stockwell was medically retired from the Army. She is the first female to ever lose a limb in active combat and has been awarded both The Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart.

Following her military career, athletics became a way of life for Stockwell. In April of 2008, she became the first Iraqi War Veteran to qualify for the Paralympics. She competed in three swimming events and was honored by her fellow Team USA athletes to be selected to carry the American flag in the closing ceremonies. After Beijing, Stockwell turned to the sport of Paratriathlon and is now a three-time World Champion. She was named USA Triathlon’s female Paratriathlete of the Year for two consecutive years and was twice nominated for an ESPY award.

On September 11, 2016, Stockwell raced in honor of her fellow soldiers and their families who had given the ultimate sacrifice serving and protecting America. After a grueling race, the day ended with Stockwell on the podium, draped in the American Flag, as the newly crowned Paralympic Bronze Medalist at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games. In 2017, Stockwell went on to secure a silver medal at the Sarasota ITU Paratriathlon World Cup.

Stockwell has shared her remarkable story and the inspiring insights she has uncovered along the way, to standing ovations across the country for Fortune 500 companies, military bases, professional organizations, charities, government events, and countless schools.


CU grad Melissa Stockwell wins bronze in Paralympic triathlon

Before racing in the women's Paralympic triathlon Sunday, U.S. athletes Allysa Seely, Hailey Danisewicz and Melissa Stockwell talked about it being the 15th ...

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