A U.S. Navy Sailor stationed aboard Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville brought home two gold and one bronze medal in the 2018 Department of Defense Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
CS2 Mario Ingram won a gold medals in track and field and seated volleyball; and won a bronze medal in wheelchair basketball.
“It feels awesome,” Ingram said. “It still feels surreal. I’m still kind of bummed about powerlifting though. I wish I would have won powerlifting. [Ingram chuckled].”
The games, hosted this year by the U.S. Air Force at the Air Force Academy, were open to ill and wounded service members.
In 2016 Ingram was diagnosed with Stage 2 Non-Hodgkins Lymphomia. After much treatment and surgery, the cancer is now in remission. Because of his illness, Ingram was asked to compete in the Warrior Games in 2017.
“I just wanted to be alone at the time,” Ingram said.
“I didn’t want to be bothered by anything. I didn’t want to be around people or any of that stuff. After a while, though, I was like ‘what the heck?’ So, I gave it a shot.”
Ingram ended up winning a gold and bronze medal in the 2017 Warrior Games.
Because of his success, Ingram, along with eight other athletes were asked to meet with one of the coordinators of the Warrior games after a training in California.
“I walked into the room and the coordinator told us, ‘We had you all come here because we want you to compete in the Invictus Games,’” Ingram said.
“I was like, ‘Cool, I’ll enjoy my 15 minutes in the spotlight.’”
The Invictus Games, created by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, spotlight injured or ill armed services personnel from militaries all over the world to compete in a myriad of sports. This year’s Invictus Games will be held in Sydney, Australia.
“The Invictus Games are comprised of teams from 18 nations,” Ingram said.
“I’ll be doing powerlifting and track and field.”
Ingram has undoubtedly risen above his illness to become a true competitor and advises people who have similar setbacks in their lives to stay positive and keep their eyes on the future.
“Grab at something positive and keep at it,” Ingram said. “You have to do stuff that will keep you moving on to the next day. My motto is that if there is something bad, it’s not going to always be bad. Everything heals with time. Someone always has it worse than you.”