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Warrior Games Athlete Remsburg Is A Profile In Courage To SC Featured Producer Schwartz

Kris Schwartz on Cory Remsburg: "I hope people will not just remember these challenges that Cory faces every day, but recall how he chooses to overcome them."

In 2009, U.S. Army Ranger Sgt. First Class Cory Remsburg nearly lost his life in a bomb explosion while on a mission in Afghanistan. He was severely injured and needed multiple surgeries and rigorous rehabilitation.

As he rehabbed, one of his biggest supporters was President Barack Obama, who met Remsburg before he was wounded, visited him in the hospital and honored him at the 2014 State of the Union address. They have remained in touch.

Beginning Saturday, Remsburg will be part of the Special Operations Command team competing in the 10th annual Department of Defense Warrior Games, a multi-sport event for wounded, injured or ill service personnel and veterans. He will compete in rowing and cycling.

Remsburg is the subject of this weekend’s SportsCenter “SC Featured” segment, with “Leading the Way” debuting in the 9 a.m. ET hour on Saturday. Kris Schwartz, who produced the piece for ESPN Features, visited with Remsburg at his home in Arizona and then in Tampa as he trained for the Warrior Games.

“You can’t help but be inspired by him,” Schwartz said. “His family has a strong history of military service, dating as far back as the Revolutionary War. Cory volunteered his service to our country, again and again, serving 10 tours in Iraq and Afghanistan in an elite regiment as an Army Ranger.

“And now, despite facing so many daily struggles in the decade following his injury, he’s in great spirits. He consistently gives a thumbs-up to people, cracks jokes regularly and is extremely excited to be a part of the SOCOM team in the Warrior Games.”

Tom Rinaldi, the reporter on the story, interviewed Remsburg, his father, and stepmother.

“Viewers will visually see how Cory has no use of his left arm, needs assistance to stand, to walk, has difficulty with his speech,” Schwartz said. “I hope people will not just remember these challenges that Cory faces every day, but recall how he chooses to overcome them.

“It’s clear Cory wants to help and give credit to other veterans,” he said. “He admitted to Tom that he hates being called a hero.

“I couldn’t respect Cory more for his humility and inspiration, and I hope we can all be as compassionate and gracious as he is.”

NOTE: SportsCenter will have segments from the Warrior Games on Monday and Tuesday, June 24-25, with reporter (and U.S. Navy veteran) Sal Paolantonio.

ESPN’s Emily Kaplan Talks NHL Draft And Her Outside The Lines Friday Four Debut

How do you prep for the NHL Draft (tonight, full coverage at ESPN.com)?
It’s tricky considering how condensed the NHL schedule is. The playoffs consume a lot of my time and energy, and the Stanley Cup Final ended on June 12. I made sure that anytime during the playoffs that I saw an agent, coach or front office person who I knew, I asked at least one question about the draft. That’s helped a lot and gave me a variety of perspectives. I also lean on our ESPN draft expert Chris Peters, who studies this all year round. He’s a tremendous resource, and teammate.

What is something you took away from this NHL season?
You always hear coaches and players say, “You just need to make the playoffs, anything can happen.” After this spring, I’ll never roll my eyes when I hear someone say that again. Through three rounds of the playoffs, there were 16 overtime games, five Game 7s, three overtime Game 7s and two double-overtime Game 7s. The first two weeks alone felt like some of the craziest hockey I’ve ever experienced, including one of the NHL’s most historically dominant regular-season teams (the Tampa Bay Lightning) getting knocked out in a sweep! When you see a team that was in last place in January win it all, you’re reminded that anything really can happen in this league.

You made your debut on OTL’s Friday Four last week. What was your favorite part?
I loved how casual and free-flowing the format was. I had known Clinton Yates previously, but this was my first time meeting Jason Fitz and Jeremy Schaap. From the moment I met them on Friday morning, they made me feel incredibly welcome and comfortable. In the production meeting before the show, we went over the topics we would cover, but not how everyone would respond. That made the on-set discussion much more organic.

– Molly Mita

– Molly Mita

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