Well, he carries many titles and labels. He is first and foremost an inspiration. Eric is someone who motivates us beyond our own individual challenges and gives us the confidence to become a better person in any number of unique ways. We are honored to have Eric as our Ironman Ambassador.
- Marine (ret)
- Endurance Athlete
Eric’s roots are from the Mon-Valley which is just south of Pittsburgh. Eric earned a mechanical engineering degree from the United States Naval Academy and served our country as Captain in the United States Marine Corps. In Belle Vernon High School, Eric was “mister” sports, from baseball to football. At the Naval Academy it was rugby.
It was while being deployed during his third tour of duty, Eric’s life changed. In the Helmand Province of Afghanistan, Eric stepped on an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). As a direct result, Eric suffered the amputation of his right leg below his knee. It was this life-changing event that began his next journey.
After being fitted with a prosthesis and learning how to walk again, Eric challenged himself. Faced with a physical challenge and certainly an unknown future, Eric made a promise to himself to compete in endurance activities. Within a year of being fitted with his new prosthesis, Eric completed three triathlons and a marathon.
Eric is also a major supporter of the Challenged Athlete Foundation. An organization whose mission is “to provide opportunities and support to people with physical challenges so they can pursue active lifestyles through physical fitness and competitive athletics.”
Since making that commitment to himself, Eric has gone on to compete in several marathons, numerous triathlons and half IRONMAN events as well as several full IRONMAN. His most notably and memorable so far was when he crossed the finish line at the Ironman World Championship race at Kona, Hawaii.
On his journey from his hospital bed in southern California to the finish line in Hawaii, he realized the challenges and adversity he was up against. The techniques he used to reach the finish line could be used against the challenges we all entertain. Eric delivers a message of inspiration, perseverance and Christian faith in his speaking engagements.
When not training, racing and delivering inspiration, Eric can be found at home with his wife Rachel and two daughters in San Diego, California.
His newest goal is to be the fastest amputee Ironman ever. Those who know Eric, know he is up for the challenge. But given his many labels, we won’t be surprised by any direction the challenges in front of him might lead.
One thing is for sure, Eric INSPIRES and the world is a better place because of his contributions!