back to top

These Athletes Prove You Can Do Incredible Things With Any Kind Of Body

Prepare to be inspired.

Posted on

Meet Team Some Assembly Required. They organize and prepare teams of adaptive athletes to compete in athletic events.

Team SAR was founded by former US Army officers Dale King and Derick Carver to “enable and empower these athletes" — and to encourage them to defy expectations at all levels.

King told BuzzFeed Life via email that the team's mission is to "advance the cause of adaptive athletics in America." He added: "We want to let veterans who suffered injuries in combat know that there is still an avenue for them to compete and excel in life. We want to be role models for kids who are missing limbs to know that they go out there and compete in sports."

What does it mean to be an adaptive athlete?

The non-profit I Am Adaptive explains that an adaptive athlete is anyone "who must adapt to a situation related to their fitness goals and needs."

This includes anyone people with “amputations, paraplegia, muscular dystrophy, special needs, scoliosis, traumatic brain injuries, blindness, deafness, lactic acidosis, cerebral palsy, and so on.

Team SAR has 25 athletes across the country.

Team SAR is made up of both veterans and civilians who are missing a limb (or limbs) "yet compete at a high level in CrossFit, Olympic lifting, obstacle course racing, power lifting, and various other fitness related events," King says.

BuzzFeed Life reached out to some of Team SAR's athletes. They wrote back and told us more about themselves and why they train and compete.

"I was injured in Afghanistan in 2009 while serving in the Marines. From that injury I lost my right leg below the knee."

"In December of 2012 I walked into Ultimate CrossFit in Charlotte."

"It turned out to be run by a Marine from my very own unit and that was it; I was hooked..."

"Being an adaptive athlete myself I am always trying to improve my skills and prove to everyone that I'm still able to do all the same things 'able bodied' athletes do."

"I am in the process of opening an adaptive CrossFit gym and help other adaptive athletes get into CrossFit or maybe just improve their skills at something."

"I served as a green beret in the army for 12 years. In 2013 I was injured by an IED resulting in the loss of my right arm and leg."

"Physical fitness was a huge part of my job and I saw no reason to stop."

"So I set a goal to run a race after my accident."

"Ten months after [my injury] I ran my first Tough Mudder in West Virginia."

"Haven't stopped since by showcasing to people what is physically possible in life."

"I was born with missing legs and deformed fingers on both hands due to a Chernobyl nuclear accident in Ukraine."

"I’ve been wearing prosthesis on both legs since I was four-years old."

"I think I love running so much because this was the first sport that actually gave me confidence!"

"Being born with no legs, I had no clue what it's like to run."

"I was given my first set of running legs three years ago and I always remember this feeling of flying as I run."

"This feeling of flying — I want it over and over! It's amazing! If you ask me why I run? It's simple, I run because I can!"

"I lost my left arm (dominant arm) just over 11 years ago at the age of 13 in a traumatic wakeboarding / rope accident."

"After the amputation I immediately returned to wakeboarding and began competing and placing at competitions."

"I practiced lacrosse religiously and made the varsity team at my high school...

"...where I was elected captain my sophomore, junior, and senior years."

"Throughout the past 11 years of my life I have continuously found ways to adapt and relearn things with one arm."

"An active lifestyle and fitness have been integral parts of my journey and allowed me the physical strength to do the things I like. I started CrossFit four months ago and it has become a passion and addiction of mine. It allows me the opportunity to get creative and apply adaptations to movements in order to achieve the optimal result."

"I'm a congenital below-elbow amputee, meaning I was born with the condition."

"I train for a few reasons: I want my kids to see being in shape and being competitive as healthy."

"Parents are their kids' biggest influences and I want to set the example."

"... I train to be competitive as a US Paralympic thrower and competitive adaptive CrossFit athlete."