Oscar Olguin

At 19, Oscar Olguin was the youngest participant of the 2005 National Disabled Veterans Sports Clinic. A combat-wounded Army veteran of the War in Iraq, Olguin had lost his right leg below the knee in October of 2004 when a suicide bomber struck his Humvee outside of Ramadi, Iraq.

Just months later on a prosthetic leg, Olguin was climbing sheer rock faces and carving the mountains of Snowmass on skis and snowboard. He also participated in trap and skeet and snowmobiling.

“Oscar showed a contagious sense of optimism and courage, and that spread among his fellow veterans throughout the week, ” said DAV National Director of Voluntary Services Edward E. Hartman. “Though he was the youngest participant, he showed that freedom is a state of mind and that any mountain, wall, trail or target can be overwhelmed with inner strength and will.”

“(Receiving the award) was a great honor for me,” said Olguin. “But to be honest, I got a lot more from participating than I did from winning.”

Olguin was featured in MSNBC’s For the Brave coverage of the 2005 National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic.