CHICAGO (CBS) — Now that the 2012 Summer Olympics in London are over, the games have begun for wounded veterans from around the Midwest, in competitions at Soldier Field and U.S Cellular Field.
WBBM Newsradio’s Brandis Friedman reports Air Force Tech. Sgt. Israel Del Toro’s friends joke he’s the Michael Phelps of the Valor Games Midwest.
“Michael Phelps is more like me,” said Del Toro, who suffered third-degree burns on 80 percent of his body when he was caught in the blast of a roadside bomb in Afghanistan in December 2005.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Brandis Friedman reports
“My left hand’s pretty much fused like a fist … and my right hand, I have fingers lost to the first knuckle,” he said.
Those injuries haven’t stopped him from earning a few medals in cycling, power lifting and other sports in the Valor Games, competitions designed for wounded military veterans.
“So, if guys see that I’m able to do it, you know, it motivates them, but at the same time, it motivates me when I see these guys out here trying it,” he said.
Del Toro said he lifted 200 pounds last year in the power lift. This year, he’s going for 235.