LONDON – Rob Jones, a retired U.S. Marine Corps sergeant from Lovettsville, is a member of the Team USA at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, which opens Aug. 30 and continues through Sept. 9.
Jones, a member of the USA Rowing Team, rows with two prosthetic legs. Jones and his teammate, Oksana Masters of Louisville, will compete in the Mixed Double Sculls Aug. 31.
Jones and Masters won the gold medal in their division at the World Cup Olympic Qualifying Regatta in Belgrade, Serbia, earlier this summer.
Jones, 26, is a graduate of Loudoun Valley High School and Virginia Tech. Jones became a double above-knee amputee in July 2010 when he stepped on an improvised explosive device while on combat duty in Afghanistan in 2010.
Jones says that after his injury he chose competitive rowing because “it has a combination of ferocious effort harmonized with delicate technique that other sports don’t have.”
Jones’ personal hero is former Baltimore Oriole great Cal Ripken Jr.
Jones did not let this life-changing incident change his attitude. A strong young man with a great personality, Jones decided to turn his misfortune into an opportunity to be a competitive athlete.
With 227 athletes competing across 19 sports, the USA Paralympics team for London 2012 will be one of the strongest to ever compete at the games. The USA team will be aiming to beat their medal haul from 2008, when they finished third overall by winning 99 medals.
A record 4,200 athletes from 166 countries will compete at the London 2012 Games. So far more than 2.1 million tickets have been sold, and a further 400,000 are expected to go on sale before the games. This will be the biggest in the games’ 52-year history. The games are expected to be watched by an estimated global television audience of 4 billion people.
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