Wounded warrior to world champ

Paratriathlete Melissa Stockwell celebrates her third world championship

You know that line about a one-legged guy in an ass-kicking contest? It takes on a whole new meaning when the one-legged guy is Army 2nd Lt. Melissa Stockwell, who's been kicking serious ass ever since a roadside bomb blast left her an above-the-knee amputee. Her journey from wounded warrior to world-champion triathlete is nothing short of amazing.

In 2004, a Baghdad bomb blast left Melissa Stockwell with a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star, and a missing left leg. A devastating injury... but Melissa was determined to live life with one leg just as fully as she had with two, so she threw herself into a year of grueling rehab. She emerged with an artificial limb and a newfound interest in prosthetics (she's now a Certified Prosthetist, helping other amputees).

Rehab had rekindled another interest, too: she loved the physical therapy swims. She dove into intensive swim training with all the determination she'd applied to therapy, and within a few short years, she qualified to swim in the Beijing Paralympics.

Her swimming success led her to triathlon, where she once again followed a straight-to-the-top trajectory to become a three-time paratriathlon world champion. See what we mean about kicking serious ass?

We met Melissa last summer in Texas at a Trek-sponsored ride for the Wounded Warrior Project. She and Trek President John Burke hit it off, and he invited Melissa to visit Trek HQ. Before the visit was over we'd signed on as her bike sponsor.

Melissa's Madone is truly one of a kind, adapted to fit her prosthetic and adorned with patriotic images that reflect her story.

Melissa rode her new bike to a third consecutive world championship in 2012, setting a personal record in the bike split. We couldn't be more proud, and we can't wait to see what's next from this great athlete. It's an honor to work with you, Melissa!

We're inspired by the great athletes who ride Trek bikes, from world champions to weekend warriors. They remind us to dream big, and motivate us to do our best.

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Prepare to be inspired: pro triathlete Melissa Stockwell does more with one leg than most of us will ever do with two.

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