Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

News

Blind Iraq Vet Wins Outdoor ESPY

Army Capt. Scott Smiley takes Best Outdoor Athlete honors

The 2008 ESPY Awards featured the usual big-names in sports taking home the top prizes — like Tiger Woods, Alex Rodriguez, Kobe Bryant, and David Beckham, just to name a few. They’re all talented elite performers, to be sure, but they had it easy: Can you imagine them playing their sports blind?

Best Outdoor Athlete winner Army Capt. Scott Smiley climbed Mt. Rainier without the benefit of sight, which he lost after being attacked by a suicide bomber in Mosul, Iraq. Michael Perry profiled the summit bid of Capt. Smiley and fellow veteran, amputee, and climber Ed Salau in BACKPACKER’s April issue (“Shock and Awe”). Smiley talked about his climb to the Army News Service after he heard he was nominated for an ESPY:

Smiley is currently pursuing a master’s degree in business administration and plans to teach at West Point after graduation. Congratulations go out to Capt. Smiley from BACKPACKER for his incredible achievement.

— Ted Alvarez

ESPY: Pasco Army Capt. Scott Smiley wins award (Tri-City Herald)