Tenn. veteran wins his first Paralympics medal

CLARKSVILLE, TENN. — Clarksville veteran Heath Calhoun added his first Paralympics medal to an already impressive list of accomplishments Friday in Sochi, Russia.

The former 101st squad leader moved up two spots in the slalom portion of the sit-skiing Super Combined to take second place with a total time of 2:19.09, less than a second behind Canada's Josh Dueck. He easily surpassed Austria's Roman Rabl and Germany's Thomas Nolte, both of whom were ahead of Calhoun after Tuesday's Super-G run.

Related: TN veteran hits the slopes for 2014 Sochi Paralympics

He's been a face of Team USA since serving as the flagbearer for the 2010 Paralympics in Vancouver, where he took 8th in the Super-G and 10th in the Super Combined. Calhoun's success earned him a spot on the front of a Wheaties box, and he's also been featured in commercials for AT&T and BP.

A native of Bristol, Va., Calhoun lives in Clarksville in a special adaptive home built for him by Homes For Our Troops in 2010. He's been a strong advocate for the Wounded Warrior Project and even testified before Congress since learning about it during his rehabilitation as he was learning to walk on prosthetics.

Calhoun lost his legs to a rocket-propelled grenade while serving as a squad leader in Iraq in 2003. Upon his return to the United States, he received a Purple Heart and later took up sit-skiing, for which he began to train professionally in 2006.

It's the 13th medal by an American in the Paralympics, including just one gold.


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