Athlete Spotlight – Zachary Brown: Burning Rubber
January 13, 2022 | Story by Megan Trexler | Commander, Navy Installations Command
WASHINGTON – SCPO (Ret.) Zachary “Zach” Brown joined the U.S. Navy in November 2003 and proudly served for over 17 years. Brown’s official retirement date occurred during the 2021 Team Navy Training Camp, held July 26 through August 3 at Port Hueneme, California. “It’s good to be among people that get it,” he expressed.
Brown enrolled in the Navy Wounded Warrior program in early 2020, with the intent to immediately start participating in the adaptive sports program. Brown said, “I have a neuromuscular disease and I needed something to get me back on my feet after a really hard figurative fall.”
“Growing up I was definitely not an athlete…I’ve never done any sports successfully,” Brown said jokingly. He said that as an adult he took up cycling. Over the last five years, Brown quickly became an avid cycler, commuting to and from work, cycling about 100 miles a week plus long rides on the weekend.
After a few “flare ups” related to his disease, Brown’s doctor recommend that he get back on his bike. He shared, “It’s been a game changer for me on my recovery journey. I am back to riding 80 to 100 miles a week.”
Brown expressed that, “Having adaptive sports as an outlet has been huge for me. Being here has boosted my confidence… this process has given my something to focus on.”
Brown was slated to compete in multiple sports during the 2021 Department of Defense (DoD) Warrior Games. He expressed that his favorite adaptive sports are cycling and shooting.
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.