Saturday, July 21, 2018
Sports

Lost her leg, not her drive

ORLANDO — Sarah Rudder was on the verge of a key promotion in the U.S. Marines on Sept. 11, 2001, when the terrorist attacks struck and eventually left her without a leg.

But she has come back from that setback to thrive on another stage, winning seven medals through Tuesday in two days of Paralympic events ranging from rowing to shot put at the international Invictus Games founded by Britain's Prince Harry for wounded members of armed services.

"It was amazing," Rudder said Tuesday. "It shows that just because I'm an amputee doesn't mean I can't go out and put my heart and soul on the track or any event that I do."

Rudder, awaiting her promotion ceremony, was unscathed in the Sept. 11 attack on the Pentagon and able to help others to safety.

But two days later she was not so lucky.

When she returned to the defense complex to help remove remains of victims, her left ankle got stuck in a concrete barrier and was crushed. The injury, which required five reconstructive surgeries, eventually led to her left leg being amputated two years ago.

"The pain was debilitating," Rudder said. "I couldn't take it anymore."

After struggling to deal with the loss of a limb, Rudder found a way to turn despair into triumph through sports. She became a part of the military's Wounded Warrior program, which paved the way for Rudder to compete in the Invictus Games, held this year at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports complex after an opening ceremony Sunday evening.

By Tuesday, Rudder already had won seven medals for Team USA, taking home the first gold medal of the games on Monday when she finished first in the lightweight powerlifting competition. She also won gold in the one-minute indoor rowing competition.

On Tuesday, Rudder won gold in the discus and 100 meters and also took home silver medals in four-minute indoor rowing, shot put and 200-meter dash for a two-day total of seven medals.

Excelling at the Invictus Games, which includes nearly 400 wounded and sick servicemen and women from 14 countries around the world, allows Rudder to prove that her injury won't limit what she can accomplish.

That was the precisely Prince Harry's goal when he started the Invictus Games a year ago.

"I served along with soldiers from all over the world," Prince Harry said at the opening ceremony. "I saw the sacrifices they and their families made to serve their nations. I learned about the importance of team work and camaraderie in the way that only military service can teach you."

Rudder, who won nine medals in last year's Warrior Games, said it was amazing to see competitors with so many different kinds of injuries.

"I might be missing a leg but there are people out there missing two and three limbs or are paralyzed from the waist down or chest down. They are my inspiration.

"Me just having one leg missing, I'm able to look at them and say, 'If they can do it, I can do it.'"

 
Comments
Seminole’s Brittany Lincicome misses cut but has a blast in PGA Tour’s Barbasol Championship

Seminole’s Brittany Lincicome misses cut but has a blast in PGA Tour’s Barbasol Championship

Seminole's Brittany Lincicome did not make the cut in her first PGA Tour event, but she did improve by seven shots in her second round.Lincicome shot 1-under 71 on Saturday at the Barbasol Championship in Nicholasville, Ky., after having to wait an e...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bucs’ Mike Evans fires back at Trump after anthem protest tweet

Bucs’ Mike Evans fires back at Trump after anthem protest tweet

Bucs receiver Mike Evans fired back at President Donald Trump on Saturday, responding to another tweet from the White House criticizing NFL players who want to protest during the national anthem.Trump's latest tweet came after Thursday's joint announ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
For starters: Rays vs. Marlins, with Justin Williams called up

For starters: Rays vs. Marlins, with Justin Williams called up

UPDATE, 3:52: 3B Matt Duffy (back) is feeling better but Cash said they would stay away from using him except in an emergency. That's not that unlikely, however, as the Rays wull have a short bench, with only C Adam Moore and Williams, assuming he ge...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Bucs training camp questions: How to split the QB reps, position battles and more

Bucs training camp questions: How to split the QB reps, position battles and more

TAMPA — Jameis Winston would like to move forward with his career now that he has accepted the NFL's decision to suspend him three games and apologized — for something — to the Uber driver that the league says he touched in an "inap...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Rays journal: Replacement catcher Adam Moore ready to play

Rays journal: Replacement catcher Adam Moore ready to play

ST. PETERSBURG — The newest Rays player is also nearly the oldest.With All-Star C Wilson Ramos on the disabled list with a hamstring injury, Tampa Bay turned to veteran Adam Moore, 34, as the new backup catcher behind Jesus Sucre. Only reliever...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Martin Fennelly: Rays and Marlins at different stages of same mission

Martin Fennelly: Rays and Marlins at different stages of same mission

ST. PETERSBURG — New York Yankees god and former Tampa resident Derek Jeter, who was once going to save the Rays (or so we thought), was at Tropicana Field on Friday night. The Captain had the gall to show up as Miami Marlins chief executive of...
Published: 07/20/18
Dolphins owner: Actually, we haven’t decided whether to levy anthem penalties

Dolphins owner: Actually, we haven’t decided whether to levy anthem penalties

Times wiresThe NFL can't seem to get away from the divisive national anthem issue.The latest developments this week assure that, despite the league's wishes, the debate about how to handle players who kneel during the anthem to protest police violenc...
Published: 07/20/18
Late rally falls short as Rays lose to Marlins, 6-5

Late rally falls short as Rays lose to Marlins, 6-5

ST. PETERSBURG –The Rays rallied for four runs in the bottom of the ninth Friday night, but their rally came up short as the Marlins held on for a 6-5 win at Tropicana Field.Tampa Bay's bullpen gave up five runs in the seventh, and that was too...
Published: 07/20/18

Sports on TV/radio for Saturday, July 21

TODAYAction sportsX Games1 p.m.ABCXGames7 p.m.ESPNArena FootballWashington at Albany7:30 p.m.CBSSNAutosF1: German Grand Prix qualifying8:55 a.m.ESPN2Xfinity: Lakes Region 200 qualifying11 a.m.CNBCXfinity: Lakes Region 2004 p.m.NBCSNNHRA: Mile High Na...
Published: 07/20/18
Kiermaier has ‘severe bone bruise’ in foot, dates back to April injury

Kiermaier has ‘severe bone bruise’ in foot, dates back to April injury

Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier left Friday's game in the fifth inning when an injury to his right foot that has bothered him since April flared up with the worst pain he's encountered this season.Kiermaier called the injury a "severe bone bruise" an...
Published: 07/20/18