Athlete Spotlight – Jacob Cox: Living Life to the Fullest
January 5, 2022 | Story by Megan Trexler | Commander, Navy Installations Command
WASHINGTON – Columbia, South Carolina native, ME2 (Ret.) Jacob Cox enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard in 2008. In 2019, after he started to lose some of his vision, Cox was diagnosed with brain cancer. His two tumors caused him to lose all vision in his left eye and about 85% vision in his right eye. Following surgery, Cox underwent radiation and nine months of chemotherapy.
Cox’s determined mindset is showcased with his favorite quote by Eric Thomas, “When you want to breathe as much as you want to success, then you will be successful." Cox is committed and focused on his goals and strives to live actively instead of living passively.
Not letting his illness deter him, Cox immediately became part of the Navy Wounded Warrior’s adaptive sports program. Cox competed in his first Department of Defense (DoD) Warrior Games during the 2019 games in Tampa, Florida. The Paralympic-style games occurred just four months after his final treatment session.
Cox reminisced on his experience during the 2019 DoD Warrior Games, “Honestly, they could keep the medals. It was the experience, and the people that I met that made the experience what it was.”
The veteran Team Navy athlete was slated to compete in archery, cycling, field, powerlifting, and track during the 2021 Department of Defense Warrior Games. As a visually impaired athlete, Cox compete in archery and field with a blindfold. In cycling and track, competes with a guide.
Navy Wounded Warrior is the Navy’s sole organization for coordinating the non-medical care of seriously wounded, ill and injured Sailors and Coast Guardsmen and providing resources and support to their families.
The Warrior Games are a Paralympic-style competition among more than 200 wounded, ill and injured service members from all branches of the U.S. military, as well as from international armed forces. The 2021 Department of Defense Warrior Games would have been hosted at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida from September 12-22, 2021. The invitation-only event was going to feature 12 sports: archery, cycling, field, golf, indoor rowing, powerlifting, shooting (precision air), sitting volleyball, swimming, track, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby. The 2021 DoD Warrior Games were canceled due to ensure the safety, health and well-being of our service members and local communities as the COVID-19 Delta variant continues to affect the country.