Augusta Sportswear Brands is pleased to announce our newest Brand Ambassador, Scott Winkler.
Scott is a US Shot Put Paralympian who trains, competes and inspires others.
Shot Put wasn’t Scott’s first sport, however. Growing up, he was a sprinter and long jumper for his high school track and field team. After high school, Scott joined the United States Army. While deployed in Tikrit, Iraq in 2003, he fell from an ammunition truck, suffering injuries that resulted in paralysis.
“When I was injured and got back, it wasn’t easy for me,” says Scott. “I didn’t know what I was going to be. I was a soldier. When that was taken from me, I had to figure out, who am I?” Paralyzed below the chest, and stripped of the identity he had known, he began to question his self-worth.
“I felt like Zero. Nothing.”
His dejection didn’t last long. Enough was enough. “I didn’t want people taking care of me,” he says. “I’m a soldier. I wanted to show that I could do whatever I wanted to in life. Everybody has obstacles, but it’s all about knocking down the next obstacle. What’s next? What’s next?”
Scott was discovered at a military sports camp in 2006 in Colorado Springs. A coach at the camp had a hunch about Scott’s athletic prowess. He asked Scott to sit in a throwing chair (designed for wheelchair users for throwing sports such as shot put, discus and javelin).
“Throw this shot,” he said. Scott followed his instructions, but was confused to see him wheeling himself away immediately afterwards. I don’t know what I’m doing, he thought. Within a few moments, the coach—himself a five-time Paralympian—returned…but not alone. “Can you throw again?” one asked. He did. This shot traveled ever further than the first.
“How would you like to be a Paralympian?” a member of the group asked.
Scott knew nothing about shot put, but it was no matter. “We will teach you,” said the coach.
The risk paid off, as this was no case of beginner’s luck. Scott rose quickly to the top of his game, setting a new world record mark for class F54 with a throw of 10.23 meters and 1,053 points while competing in the men’s shot put at the 2007 Para Pan American Games. He went on the compete for Team USA at the 2008 Summer Paralympics where he placed fifth in the shot put F55/56 event.
Scott Winkler’s accomplishments prove that there is life after injury. “Being an athlete and representing your country is a great honor,” he says. “I look forward to seeing you guys in 2020.”
Learn more about Scott’s journey: