Air Force reservist from New Jersey heading to Warrior Games to compete in archery

Diana Romero is heading to the Warrior Games at ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando

Anthony Johnson Image
Friday, August 19, 2022
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An Air Force reservist who suffered life-altering injuries is ready to compete. Anthony Johnson has her story.

CLARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- The Warrior Games will kick off this week in Florida for the first time since 2019.

The event celebrates the resiliency and dedication of wounded, ill, and injured servicemembers as they compete in adaptive sporting events.

This year, nearly 300 athletes will vie for the top prize -- including a woman from New Jersey.

Diana Romero has turned a traumatic experience in a targeted passion.

Back in February of 2015, Romero was involved in a horrible accident after leaving her Air Force reserve unit at McGuire Air Force base.

A snow storm hit quickly and her vehicle hydroplaned into an oncoming truck. She suffered a crushed pelvis, spinal damage and leg and head injuries.

That's when her military family came through.

"The Air Force Wounded Warrior program came to me while I was in the ICU and signed me up for their program," Romero said. "So their program believes in rehabilitating through adaptive sports."

And with the support of her own family, she was encouraged to keep going and became involved in archery.

"I was scared, I didn't even think I could go do a sport, I had never done sports before except for dancing Salsa," Romero said.

Under the watchful eye of Columbia University Coach Derek Davis, she is ready to let it fly.

"Then I fell in love with the breathing, the sound of the shots hitting the target," Romero said.

Now she is headed down to ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando for the competition.

Romero is ranked nationally in the masters' division so she is not nervous about facing the best of the best from other military services.

"I've been training for two years so I'm ready to go," she said. "I'm more excited for the camaraderie and being amongst fellow veterans, even different services, and having that beautiful experience of competing together and helping each other out."

Hosted by the U.S. Army, the 2022 Warrior Games will take place at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort from August 19-28.

Live coverage will be available on ESPN+ beginning on Friday, August 19, with the opening ceremony at 8 p.m.

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