SORA Coaches Katie and Justin Lednar were recently honored when they were selected to officiate the indoor rowing portion of the 2016 Invictus Games held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports this past week. (May 8-12) The games were created by the Royal Kingdom’s Prince Harry in 2012 to showcase the athletic talents of wounded veterans. The athletes are selected from 15 member countries of the coalition forces to compete for respective nation in 10 different sports. This is the first time that any country has hosted the event outside of Great Brittan.
Coach Katie and Coach Justin were selected from a nation wide search because of their extensive work and expertise in adaptive rowing. They have run SORA’s adaptive program since its beginning and have worked at every level of adaptive rowing from learn to row, to recreational and regional competitive programs, all the way to coaching the U.S. National Para-Rowing team to a World Championship Gold medal and a Paralympic Bronze Medal in 2012. Their fellow officials included several Olympic and Paralympic champions, the directors of USRowing’s Paralympic high performance division, past and present US National Team Adaptive coaches, and the directors of the Concept2 Adaptive Rowing division.
In addition to the efforts of our coaches, SORA was vital to the success of the competition as this years Invictus Games saw a record number of athletes competing. Several late entries to the event left the organizers short on equipment. The event coordinators put out an emergency call and within 45 minutes SORA was able to deliver all of the needed rowing machines and custom adaptive seats to the venue. This quick response made it possible for every one of the more than 200 veterans to be able to compete.
“Katie and I were honored to be chosen to be a part of this year’s Invictus Games. The nearly 14 hour work day left us exhausted, but the spirit, determination, and sincere gratitude of the athletes kept us going and made it all worth it. We are proud of SORA’s commitment to adaptive rowing and the impact that commitment has made on the lives of so many disabled athletes locally, nationally, and now internationally.”