Inspired to give back to his country following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Andy Soule enlisted in the U.S. Army. He was soon deployed to Afghanistan, where he was wounded in an explosion that resulted in a double leg amputation.
Soule took up cross-country skiing at a camp in 2005. Five years later, he competed at the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games.
On the opening day of the Paralympics, Soule pushed forward to come from behind and win bronze in the 2.4km pursuit. Not only was he the first American to medal in Vancouver, he also was the first American ever to medal in a Paralympic biathlon event.
“It just felt incredible,” Soule said. “I’ve had World Cup wins and World Cup podiums before, but there’s nothing quite like this – in this atmosphere, in front of the crowd here with everyone watching.”