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WAY Peter
Sport Para biathlon, Para cross-country
NPC United States   
GenderMen
Age54
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Type of Impairment
Limb deficiency
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
LW12
Further Personal Information
Family
Wife Anne, two children
Occupation
Veteran
Languages
English
Sport Specific Information
Why this sport?
"I began training and competing in adaptive athletics as part of my rehabilitation. I found similarities to the military in training and competing with fellow veterans and disabled athletes, work ethic, teamwork, common objectives, and a desire to overcome obstacles. This has been therapeutic both physically and mentally and has become a cornerstone of my rehabilitation."
General Interest
Hobbies
Handcycling, wheelchair basketball, archery, rowing, shooting, mountain biking, kayaking. (bushcenter.org, 01 Aug 2016; prnewswire.com, 14 Nov 2017)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"I strive to be an example of strength and perseverance for veterans and non-veterans alike to show that if you want to do something, you can no matter what adversity you may encounter." (prnewswire.com, 14 Nov 2017)
Other sports
He has competed in able-bodied biathlon at regional level in the United States of America. (wyomilitary.wyo.gov, 13 Jan 2017)
Impairment
In 2003 he was serving as a medic with the US Army in Afghanistan when he injured his back and legs pulling a person out of a vehicle. Several months later a rocket-propelled grenade exploded near him, sending dirt and shrapnel into his wounds. He continued to serve, but his right leg became affected by a series of infections. In August 2014, after 25 operations, he had the leg amputated above the knee. In February 2019 he underwent osseointegration surgery on his amputated leg to permanently attach a prosthetic implant to his skeleton. (bushcenter.org, 01 Aug 2016; qlplus.org, 24 Jun 2020)
Other information
LIVING AS A VETERAN
He believes there should be a greater awareness and appreciation of the mental aspect of being a military veteran. "The stigma of invisible wounds is every bit as significant as the outward and physical wounds. I get out with my [veteran] buddies and I always say I've got it really easy. I've got a very visible injury and it's very evident. I can be with several of them and get, 'Thank you for your service, thank you for your sacrifice', and meanwhile I've got four or five guys who have been through the same stuff and they don't have that outward sign of any of it. It's very difficult and we get an idea that we're not supposed to talk about it. I'm not weak because I don't have a leg but I am weak because I have these feelings inside that make me not want to be around people, that make me angry or make me depressed or anxious. There shouldn't be a stigma with that, it's every bit as real as the physical injuries that sometimes come along with it. What I hope is that eventually we're just going to treat those as one and the same." (TheBushCenter YouTube channel, 07 Oct 2017)

OTHER ACTIVITIES
He has been involved with QL+, an organisation that develops innovations to improve quality of life for US armed forces veterans. In his role as a 'challenger' he tasks a group of students with creating something that will improve his everyday life. As a result he has received a breakaway prosthetic leg for mountain biking, modifications to make handcycling more comfortable and a car ramp for his service dog Rory. He has also served as a board member of America's VetDogs, an organisation placing service dogs with veterans, and as a search dog handler for Central Georgia K9 Search and Rescue in the United States of America. (bushcenter.org, 01 Aug 2016; qlplus.org, 24 Jun 2020, 23 Dec 2019)

FURTHER EDUCATION
He has studied for a master's degree in nursing at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC, United States of America. He has also studied liberal arts at Oxford College of Emory University in Georgia, United States of America, and has studied at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, GA, United States of America. (Facebook profile, 22 Sep 2017; bushcenter.org, 01 Aug 2016)

Competition Highlights (historical)
There are no major results available for this athlete.