…National Veterans Wheelchair Games in Minnesota.
But, she says, school had to come first.
The idea of finishing her degree was scary at first because she wasn’t sure how people would treat her. But she made the leap and enrolled at the University of South Carolina in 2006. Her brother was there to support her through the whole process.
Mazyck graduated with a degree in sociology and a minor in women’s studies in December 2010.
“It meant the world to me,” she says proudly. “It gave me that boost of confidence that I needed to become a part of society — to contribute to society again [after] being in the military, where, you know, it’s our own little bubble.”
Then she started training to compete in the Paralympics.
She trained almost every day — which was no easy feat as a single mother! But with her mother helping her care for her son, “that gave me comfort in my heart,” Mazyck explains, “knowing that I was pursuing my dreams and my son was still being taken care of.”
“My support system means the world to me. Without that, there would be no me.”
Her hard work paid off. Not only did she compete in the javelin at the London Paralympics in 2012, but she went on to win a bronze medal at the World Championships in France soon after. Today, she travels the country conducting talks and inspiring the next generation of athletes with disabilities.