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Paralympic Dream for Injured Vet Moves Closer to Reality This Week

by Ed Moran, Ed@usrowing.org | Apr 04, 2016
Helman Roman (Miami, Fla.) and teammate Laura Goodkind (Long Beach, Calif.) row uncontested in the 2016 USRowing Non-Qualified Paralympic Trials, April 6-7, on Mercer Lake, West Windsor, N.J.

PRINCETON, N.J. – When Helman Roman showed up at his first USRowing Para-rowing camp, he stated that his goal is to make the 2016 U.S. Paralympic Team. That was nearly two years ago.

This week, Roman (Miami, Fla.), who was severely injured while serving with the 20417302628_29a0b39c7e_z U.S. Army in Afghanistan, will move a step closer to fulfilling that dream when he and teammate Laura Goodkind (Long Beach, Calif.) row uncontested in the 2016 USRowing Non-Qualified Paralympic Trials, April 6-7, on Mercer Lake, West Windsor, N.J.

Roman and Goodkind will need to complete the course in a competitive manner to earn the right to represent the U.S. at the Final Paralympic Qualification Regatta, April 21-23 in Gavirate, Italy.

Roman’s leg was fractured from his knee down during an IED explosion that pulverized the bones in his ankle. He was introduced to rowing by a friend in Miami and now rows regularly.

During a 2015 interview at the USRowing Para-rowing camp at Nathan Benderson Park, in Sarasota, Fla., Roman said that finding rowing gave him a new purpose in life and helped with his recovery.

“Any type of sport that you can adapt for a wounded veteran is a life-changing experience,” he said. “The thing is, when you come back from active duty and are reintroduced into civilian life after being wounded, your purpose just kind of fades off. You’re not in a good place. What adaptive sports does is gives you a new meaning, a new purpose.”

Watch the full interview with Roman here

Three crews, including the men’s and women’s arms and shoulders single sculls and the legs, trunk and arms four with coxswain were previously qualified for the 2016 Paralympic Games during competition at the 2015 World Rowing Championships.

For more information about the 2016 USRowing Non-Qualified Paralympic Trials, click here.

About USRowing
USRowing is a nonprofit organization recognized by the United States Olympic Committee as the governing body for the sport of rowing in the United States. USRowing has 85,000 individual members and 1,300 member organizations, offering rowing programs for all. USRowing receives generous support from the National Rowing Foundation and its corporate sponsors and partners.

For more information, contact: USRowing Communications, (609) 751-0710, media@usrowing.org.

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