Nov. 15, 2016, Philadelphia, PA - The Power Triumph Games, a TV series in which 10 U.S. military veteran athletes competed to win a $50,000 cash prize and prove they are triumphant, concluded last night with Army vet Michael Gallardo taking first place overall and Marine vet Lakin Booker winning the “Character Does Matter Award.”
In the three-part mini-series which aired on CBS Sports Network, the athletes – each of whom has risen above catastrophic injuries to excel in their sports – demonstrated that their military training is at the core of their extraordinary ability to adapt, overcome and succeed. The competition was staged at the prestigious United States Military Academy at West Point, where the athletes faced eight physical and mental challenges, each designed based on challenges that West Point cadets must complete to graduate.
The challenges were not modified, and challenged the athletes to dig deep and show they can compete at an extraordinary level. The challenges were PT Challenge, Underwater Challenge, The Rock Wall Challenge, Indoor Obstacle Course Test, Terracross Race, Outdoor Obstacle Course Challenge, Courage and Strength Challenge, and West Point Race.
Retired Army Sgt. Michael Gallardo, 31, of San Antonio, TX, won first place and a cash prize of $50,000 after completing all eight challenges and finishing with the top score.
In addition to the eight competition challenges, Johnson & Johnson, Power Triumph Games Exclusive Health and Wellness Sponsor, and the Travis Manion Foundation hosted the “Character Does Matter Challenge,” which paired athletes with children from the West Point, NY, area, inspiring them to complete physical challenges, coaching the youth through curriculum focused on character traits including honesty, teamwork, leadership, moral courage, integrity and fairness. The athlete who demonstrated the strongest personal connection and understanding of character was presented with a Character Does Matter Award, which includes a $20,000 scholarship.
Retired Marine Corp. Sgt. Lakin Booker, 26, of Jacksonville, NC, was announced as the award winner during the Triumph Games closing ceremonies.
“We are pleased to partner with the Travis Manion Foundation to recognize Lakin with the Character Does Matter Award,” said Sandi Hassett, Johnson & Johnson VP Global Consumer Care and Veterans Leadership Council Co-Chair. “She inspired others with her leadership ability and represented the ethos of selflessness and character that our military embody every day.”
“The Power Triumph Games are a celebration of everything that we honor and admire in our military community: resilience, leadership, courage, and character" said Travis Manion Foundation President Ryan Manion.
"The Power Triumph Games are a celebration of everything that we honor and admire in our military community: resilience, leadership, courage, and character,” said Travis Manion Foundation President Ryan Manion. “As an organization that both serves and celebrates veterans, we couldn't be prouder to partner with J&J and take part in this event. Personally, I was in awe of the strength of character exhibited by each one of these fierce competitors throughout the various trials. And then, to see how they are using that strength to inspire young adults to live with that same vigor, it's a very powerful thing."