Triathlon Leads Army Colonel To Inspire Others

Army Lt. Col. Patty Collins will guide blind athlete Amy Dixon through Sunday's New York City Triathlon.

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Army Lt. Col. Patty Collins will guide blind athlete Amy Dixon through Sunday’s New York City Triathlon. Read the story from USA Today below.

If you are to believe two athletes lining up for the 2014 Panasonic New York City Triathlon on Sunday, well-trained lungs and a pocketful of courage make up the two pre-requisites for Olympic distance triathlons.

A little teamwork doesn’t hurt, either.

Amy Dixon, a blind sommelier from Greenwich, Conn., will rely on Army Lt. Col. Patty Collins to navigate swimming 1,500 meters, cycling 40 kilometers and running 10K through Central Park and past some of NYC’s iconic areas.

Sunday’s triathlon is expected to draw 4,000 athletes. A purse of $30,000 will be awarded to pro category triathletes and $7,500 for top competitors in the Accenture Challenged Athletes International Championship.

The Dixon-Collins duo isn’t your traditional guide and athlete team.

A paratrooper, Collins is in charge of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance during Army combat operations. She’s endured tours of duty to the Balkans, Iraq, and Afghanistan. She lost her left leg below the knee when she was hit by a car while riding her bike. She is the only female amputee to serve active duty.

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