Kari Miller

After serving in the U.S. Army with stints in Bosnia and Korea, in 1999, Miller was hit by a drunk driver, resulting not only in the loss of both of her legs, but the life of her friend that was in the car with her.

In 2004, Miller began attending classes at Parkland College in Champaign, Illinois, and playing on the University of Illinois wheelchair basketball team. It was there that she was introduced to sitting volleyball and, although she knew nothing about the sport previously, was immediately hooked.

Miller was named to the U.S. Paralympics Women’s Sitting Volleyball National Team in 2006, just prior to the World Championships in Roermond, The Netherlands. The U.S. finished fifth. She said the experience of competing at the World Championships made her want to work harder, so she transferred to the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) that August to devote more time to volleyball and continue her education in biology and veterinary studies.

After transferring to UCO, Miller, a track athlete in high school and the Army, received a pair of running legs from Hanger Prosthetics. She ran in her first track meet at the Endeavor Games in June 2007.

Miller can forever cherish the hard-earned silver medal that she won with the U.S. Paralympic Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, China. Miller served as a starter for Team USA when they took the silver medal at the 2010 Sitting Volleyball World Championships. She was also ranked No. 1 in 2010.

Carlos Leon

Carlos Leon, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, was injured in a diving accident in 2005. After meeting five-time Paralympian Gabriel Diaz de Leon at a USOC Paralympic Military Sports Camp, he was encouraged to get involved in field events.

At the 2007 Parapan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, he came away with two medals and shortly thereafter learned he had been selected as a member of the 2007 U.S. Paralympics Track & Field Elite Team. This was the first step on his journey to Beijing, where Leon made his debut in the Paralympic Games in September 2008.

Leon currently lives and trains at the Lakeshore Foundation in Birmingham, Alabama, an official U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Site, as part of the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Veterans Paralympic Performance Program (VP3). He has also been playing wheelchair basketball as a member of the Miami Heat Wheels since 2006. Leon enjoys sports, training and reading.