Each summer it seems Roger Hanks discovers a new adventure at the National Veterans Wheelchair Games.
Oh, and he always brings several medals back home to Granbury.
This year, in the games held recently in Tampa, Fla., Hanks captured five medals – his most in a single Games yet. Three were gold and two were silver.
And he got some additional good news that added to his excitement once the competition was over.
“Afterwards, they told me a guy I was throwing against was on the U.S. Paralympics Team,” said Hanks.
Hanks topped him in the shot put with a throw of 8.7 meters to win gold for a fourth consecutive year. He also won gold for a fourth straight time in the javelin with a throw of 26.27 meters.
And he took silver in the discus with a 19.28 effort.
“I’ll take two out of three against that kind of competition,” said Hanks with a smile.
Hanks also won gold in archery, scoring 592 out of a possible 720.
“I finally got my gold back,” said Hanks, who won gold in the event in 2008, along with silver in 2011 and 2012.
His other medal this year was a silver in trap shooting, scoring 71 out of 100. He was also just five points away from a bronze medal in air rifle competition.
Hanks said he dedicated this year’s Games to his good friend Jack Whiteacre, who passed away.
“He was a very dear friend. I had to do good this year,” said Hanks.
In the six years he’s competed in the Games, Hanks has won 21 medals, including 15 gold, four silver and a pair of bronze.
“It’s not as much the medals as it is being with other vets,” he said. “I love the camaraderie, and we’re honoring the fallen.”
Hanks lost partial use of his legs on active duty in 2005
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Category: Sports Archived