Paralympics

Soldier breaks 2 records qualifying for Paralympics

Sgt. 1st Class Elizabeth Marks broke two American records at Swimming Trials for the Paralympics Summer Games. Marks is a long time Solider-athlete in the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program. The Iraq Veteran is also a four-time gold medalist at the Invictus Games. It may surprise you to know she has only been swimming since 2012.

Marks began swimming as a way to rehab from her combat injuries, and immediately found it therapeutic. As well as good for her health and recovery.

After qualifying as the Army’s first ever Paralympic swimmer, Marks said, “I am honored to represent my country and the U.S. Army. None of this would be possible without my brothers and sister in the military. I never thought I could peruse something like this and they pushed me to try.”

Invictus Games
U.S. Army Sgt. Elizabeth Marks swims the 100-meter freestyle at Invictus Games 2016, Orlando, Fla., May 11, 2016. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Joshua L. DeMotts)

Paralympics Record Breaking

The first record she broke was in the 100-meter backstroke. Her time of 1:21.56 beat the American record and almost broke the world record. Secondly, she broke the record for the 50-meter butterfly. She finished the race at a mere 37.06 seconds. This time also beating a record she set earlier that day.

The US Army states, “Marks will be competing in the 100-meter backstroke, 50-meter butterfly, 200-meter individual medley and the 50-meter freestyle at the 2020 Summer Paralympic Games, kicking off Aug. 24 in Tokyo, Japan.”

Marks has long been recognized as a top Paralympics athlete. Consequently, she was invited to the 2016 ESPYs where she received the Pat Tillman award. Stay tuned to American Grit for more stories as we follow the journey of Sgt. 1st Class Elizabeth Marks. As well as all the other military athletes representing our fine country in the long awaited Summer Games.

Also read: Marine wrestler earns spot on U.S. Olympic Team

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