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Military and civilian athletes compete in 'Hampton Roads Throwdown'

Active-duty service members, veterans, spouses, and civilians all competed for winning titles at the functional fitness competition.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — There’s nothing wrong with a little friendly competition.

The local military and civilian community faced off in a functional fitness competition, this morning at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex.

It’s called the “Hampton Roads Throwdown.”

Ruth Freeman, a U.S. Navy sailor, is one of 80 competing athletes.

“This is part of my training too since I’m competing in the D.O.D. Wounded Warrior games in September," Freeman said.

Doctors diagnosed Freeman with cancer; She explained, the subsequent illness, treatment and surgeries left her with paralysis in part of her shoulder muscle. But she’s not letting that stop her. 

“For me, it’s just to try," she said. "I’ve been like trying to show others that have the same injury or disease as mine, that they can still do whatever.”

The USO of Hampton Roads, Central Virginia’s Outdoor Adventure Team and Three Ships Collective are hosting the event.

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USO’s Public Relations Specialist Erica Venezuela said it’s about connecting the military and civilian community through a little competition.

“You’ll see some sprinting, some powerlifting, here," Venezuela said. “Civilians, veterans, active-duty military, and some spouses as well are competing against each other.”

Military members and civilians are facing off for winning titles in the functional fitness contest.

Another competition is Kelsey Leuzinger. Her husband is a U.S. Navy sailor.

“My husband is deployed, and I started going to this USO outdoor adventure team gym. It’s just been something that has kept me going and I have two little ones – a three and a five-year-old – at home," she said. 

It’s about promoting health, wellness and teamwork, through a series of fun, athletic activities.

“At the end of the day we just want to celebrate the USO, we want to celebrate our military, and we want to celebrate health and fitness in the community," Venezuela said.

The Hampton Roads Throwdown also has a ”Kids Clinic” which includes bounce houses, agility inflatables, games, and relay races.

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