by Spc. Samantha B. Koss
Sgt. Christopher Helton, Company A, Warrior Transition Battalion, competed in the Warrior Games track and field event May 17 held at the Garry Berry Stadium.
This was Helton’s second year participating in the Warrior Games; both years competing in three track and field events.
“I have a lot of fun competing on the Army team,” Helton said. “It’s always exciting to compete against the other services.”
Helton joined the Army in 2001 from his hometown of Bolivar, Mo. He served two tours in Iraq. In 2008, Helton went through two spinal fusion surgeries to relieve back pain. Post operation, he developed a blood clotting disorder resulting in a pulmonary embolism and lower extremity clots.
“It’s been painful competing, especially this year,” he said after hurting his hip during his first event, the shot put.
Last year, Helton received a gold medal in the discus throw event and a bronze medal in the shot put.
“I didn’t know if I was going to be able to compete in the 100-meter dash this year because my hip hurt so much, but I didn’t want to give up,” he said.
Helton pushed on to race in the 100-meter dash and in the discus throw, demonstrating his perseverance and determination to overcome medical obstacles.
“I’m just happy to be able to compete and finish … I love track and field,” he said.
Helton currently attends classes at Pikes Peak Community College and plans to transfer to the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs in the fall, majoring in mathematics.
“I am thankful for all the support I had out there, there were a lot of people cheering me on,” he said.