Archers Compete in First-Ever Visual Impairment Category at Warrior Games

Frankosky earned the silver medal in the category. She said at the trials that she was lucky if she could get an arrow to hit her own target, so she was thrilled at her results.

Medically retired Navy veteran Brittany Jordan asked her sister, Tiffany, to be her side coach. “You have to trust the person behind you and that was my sister, who I’m grateful to have,” Jordan said. “You have to believe they’re going to put you in the right spot, and you have to breathe and relax. If you tense up, you’re not going to make it. I felt very confident out there. I didn’t win but it was my first year, and I did my best. I’m very happy with the outcome. I’m going to practice this year, and I’m going for the gold next year.”

Jordan is blind in her right eye and has 40 percent vision in her left eye due to her brain swelling a few years ago. She earned bronze in the visual impairment archery category. Her sister said she was proud to be her side coach.

“It was amazing; I had to keep her calm. We’re sisters so we fight as much as we can just because that’s what we do, so for us to be able to sit there and be calm for as long as we had to was amazing,” she said. “I was so proud of her. She didn’t lose her cool, and I was just happy to see her finish.”

Jordan asked her sister to go up and receive her medal with her. “I was honored,” Tiffany said.

Medically retired Air Force Master Sgt. Reese Hines asked his girlfriend and teammate, medically retired Master Sgt. Kyle Burnett to be his side coach.

Hines lost his right eye, had damage to his left eye, lost his right index finger, has had major reconstruction to right hand and has nerve damage in both arms due to an improvised explosive device blast in Afghanistan in 2011. His challenge was not only the blindfold, but in choosing which arm to shoot with.

Hines said he grew up shooting archery for fun with his right hand, but after his injury he shot left-handed and hunted left-handed. “While practicing, I discovered that because my right hand had more sensation than the left, I could feel the tactile site off the stand and do it right handed,” he said.

Burnett said they met on a softball league and compete at all the sports together so they know each other fairly well. They’ve also been dating for nine months. She said Hines had only practiced with the blindfold four times and three of those times were here at USMA. “Once we got it going, we got into a grove and we got everything locked down. I just did minor adjustments, me not telling him too much or too little information because he can’t see during the competition,” she said.

Hines earned the gold medal during the competition.

Breaking Barriers

Moffett said the goal of developing the visual impairment category was to break barriers. “The perception is you have to have sight to be able to do this, and we want to break those barriers,” he said. “We want to show the world that people with any disability can still do whatever they want. We want to break that perception that a person with a visual impairment can’t do an aiming sport. Just make some minor modifications and they’re good to go. Let’s continue to break barriers and show that people with whatever injury, illness or wounds can do whatever they want. We just have to figure out a way.”

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