Hometown: Eden Prairie, Minnesota
Currently Resides: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Birthdate: January 31, 1980
Social Media: Twitter: @MStockwell01; Instagram: @MStockwell01 Facebook: MelissaStockwell
Toyota Vehicle: Toyota 4Runner
Paralympic History: 2008, 2016
- Paralympic Games Rio 2016, bronze (paratriathlon)
- Three-time ITU Paratriathlon World Champion (2010, 2011, 2012)
- 10-time ITU World Paratriathlon Event medalist (3 golds, 5 silvers, 2 bronzes)
- Four-time USA Paratriathlon National Champion (2011, 2012, 2013, 2018)
- Five-time ITU Paratriathlon World Cup medalist (4 golds, 1 silver)
- Paralympic Games Beijing 2008 (swimming)
About Melissa Stockwell
Melissa Stockwell was born to Dave and Marlene Hoffman in Grand Haven, Michigan. In 2002, she graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army as part of the Transportation Corps. On March 2004, she deployed with the 1st Cavalry Division in Baghdad, Iraq.
Once an aspiring gymnast who dreamed of competing at the Olympic Games, Stockwell has always been athletic. She had no idea her greatest athletic triumphs would come after she woke up in a Baghdad emergency room in early 2004 when she became the first woman to lose a limb in active combat. She was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart for her service to the United States.
Four years later, Stockwell became the first Iraq War veteran to participate in the Paralympic Games Beijing 2008. She competed in swimming and was selected to be the flag bearer for Team USA at the Closing Ceremony. After Beijing, Stockwell transitioned to triathlon because of its variety. She competed in the sport when it made its debut at the Paralympic Games Rio 2016 and won bronze in a Team USA podium sweep.
When not competing, Stockwell works in prosthetics and fits other amputees with prosthetic devices. She is also the co-founder of the nonprofit group Dare2Tri, through which she has helped hundreds of people living with disabilities not only return to sport, but, more importantly, build confidence, self-esteem and a renewed passion for living. She is currently a part of the Operation Homefront ‘Stay Strong, Stay Smart’ campaign. In 2020, she wrote and released her first book, “The Power of Choice: My Journey from Wounded Warrior to World Champion.”
A two-time ESPY nominee for “Best Female Athlete with a Disability” and one of four athletes featured in a documentary called “Warrior Champions,” Stockwell also balances family life with her husband, Brian Tolsma, son, Dallas, and daughter, Millie.
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