Melissa Stockwell was born to Dave and Marlene Hoffman in Grand Haven, Michigan. In 2002, she graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulderand 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 the Olympic Games, Stockwellhas always been athletic. She had no idea her greatest athletic triumphs would come after she woke up in the Baghdad ER 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 participatein the Paralympic Games Beijing 2008. She competed in swimming and was selected to carry the U.S. flag in 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.
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.
Hometown: Eden Prairie, Minn.
Currently Resides: Colorado Springs, Colo.
Birthdate: January 31, 1980
Social Media: Twitter: @MStockwell01; Instagram: @MStockwell01Facebook: @MelissaStockwell01
Toyota Vehicle: Toyota 4Runner
Paralympic History: 2008, 2016
- Paralympic Games Beijing 2008 (swimming)
- Paralympic Games Rio 2016, bronze (paratriathlon)
- Three-time ITU Paratriathlon World Champion (2010, 2011, 2012)
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