After graduating High School Ryan enlisted in the United States Air Force in February 2000. He served his entire 14 year career as an in flight refueler at Fairchild AFB and at the Arizona Air National Gaurd, where he retired. He deployed to the Middle East over 10 times and accumulated over 100 combat missions. Ryan medically retired in 2014 after his spinal cord injury as a Technical Sergeant (E6.)
Ryan was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. He loves his home state and all his local sports teams- Go Suns! He is a graduate from Horizon High school and after serving his country in the Air Force, graduated from Grand Canyon University with a BS degree in Sports Management. Ryan met his beautiful wife Meagan in 2008, married in 2013, and had their daughter Addison in 2018. His large family supports and loves him through the hours of training. He credits a big part of his success to their support.
Shortly after coming home from a tour in the Middle East, Ryan flew over the handle bars of his bicycle during a race. While flying through the air all he could think about was tucking and protecting his head, once his back hit the ground he knew his life was never going to be the same. As the EMT rolled him off the course he looked at her and said, " You praise God when you win, and you praise God when you lose." There was always a sense about him that he knew he was going to be okay. His then fiance, Meagan and family rushed to the hospital to be by his side, not knowing the seriousness of his injuries. Ryan soon learned that he had suffered a spinal cord injury and that he would probably not walk again. His family was by his side every step of the way, especially his fiance, now wife, who knew that she would always love him as long as he remained the man she fell in love with, being able to walk or not. He was in and out of the hospital and rehab after only 29 days. He was ready for his new life to begin.
Ryan's road to recovery began when he was gifted his first handbike from The Freewheel Foundation. As soon as he got it home he was excited to ride. It would be the first time riding any kind of bike since his accident. His first ride was around the block and it was definitely not love at first ride. It was different and very difficult to pedal using his arms. Since he had made a commitment to ride in the foundation's 430 mile ride the next year, Ryan road day after day. Soon, Ryan had fallen in love with riding his hand bike. It was liberating to be able to ride routes he had ridden previous to his accident. Since he was also a very competitive person, Ryan started looking for races to participate in and joined the Air Force Wounded Warrior Team as well as the Paralyzed Veterans of America Racing Team. Since then, he has participated in 3 Invictus Games, a World Championship Race, numerous World Cup and National Races, and is a member of Team Possabilities. This has lead him to be able represent USA in Tokyo for the Paralympic games.
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