Events/News

Outdoors Maryland Features World T.E.A.M. Sports’ Face of America Ride

BY RICHARD RHINEHART

Arlington, Virginia, October 21, 2011 – In May 2008, Air Force Sgt. Christopher Frost received life-changing injuries owing to an explosion that killed a colleague when his 14 ton vehicle detonated a pressure-sensitive IED during a mission in northern Iraq. A Team Leader for Weapons Intelligence, Sgt. Frost lost his right leg below the knee as a result of the devastating explosion. Two years later, following rehabilitation at Washington’s Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, he set off in a journey with other wounded warriors as a participant of World T.E.A.M. SportsSea to Shining Sea cross-country bicycle ride.

Chris Frost 2010

Sgt. Chris Frost during the 2010 Sea to Shining Sea ride. Photograph copyright 2010, Austin Smithard.

Maryland Public Television’s Outdoors Maryland program profiles Sgt. Frost in an episode debuting October 25, featuring his participation in this April’s annual Face of America ride from World T.E.A.M. Sports. The annual 110 mile, two day ride from Washington to Gettysburg attracted nearly 500 participants, of which 93 were wounded warriors from our nation’s military.

Following his triumphant cross country ride across America, Sgt. Frost married and then voluntarily had doctors amputate his left leg below the knee. Significant pain in his left foot and ankle owing to the 2008 IED attack convinced Sgt. Frost that he would be better off as a double amputee. Currently in active duty at Maryland’s Andrews Air Force Base, Sgt. Frost also remains very active in outdoor activities, particularly cycling on his recumbent. At the 2011 Face of America ride, he participated as a member of Team Mac, in memory of fellow Sea to Shining Sea participant Bruce McCarthy.

Start of Face of America 2010

Riders line up behind the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Washington for the start of the 2011 Face of America Ride. Photograph by Richard Rhinehart.

“When I was wounded in Iraq in 2008 and lost my right leg I wondered what limitations I would have placed on my activities,” said Sgt. Frost. “World T.E.A.M. Sports showed me through events that I have been a part of – the 2010 and 2011 Face of America rides and the 2010 Sea to Shining Sea bike ride – and through other World T.E.A.M. events such as Soldiers to the Summit and the Adventure TEAM Challenge, that the only true limitations are those that we place upon ourselves. I am proud that I have been able to be a part of these events that have served as inspiration to many people of all abilities and ages.”

Produced, directed and written by Robert Ferrier of Backfin Media, the Outdoors Maryland report is one of three segments in the half hour series. Ferrier has traveled across the world in producing award-winning programming for National Geographic, Smithsonian, the Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and the Travel Channel. During the April Face of America ride, Ferrier worked with a documentary team from The Pentagon Channel, which also is producing a feature on the inclusive ride.

World T.E.A.M. Sports did a fantastic job coordinating the event, everything ran smoothly and seamlessly – even when faced with thunderstorms, tornadoes and flooded roads. It was safety first in their minds. I applaud them for organizing an event for these challenged athletes,” said Ferrier of the Face of America ride. “I know what it’s like to ride a bike in a long distance ride – it’s no easy task. A one hundred mile bike ride, for many, is challenging enough, but try doing it with a missing arm or leg, or both legs! I have tremendous respect for these wounded veterans, not only for their service to our country, but for overcoming adversity and proving to themselves that they will not be held back by their injuries. All the riders I talked to had the same goal in mind – to inspire other wounded vets to get out of their wheel chairs and push themselves to the limit.”

“A Renewed Spirit” on Maryland Outdoors debuted on October 25, 2011. Local cable television systems in Maryland, including Comcast xfinity and Verizon FiOS, may offer the program through video on demand. World T.E.A.M. Sports‘ Face of America 2012 ride will be held April 27-29, beginning in Arlington, Virginia and ending in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.