Warrior Champions tells the emotional and inspiring story of a group of severely wounded American Soldiers, as they fight to turn nightmares of war into Paralympic dreams. Iraq War Veterans Kortney Clemons, Scott Winkler, Melissa Stockwell, and Carlos Leon, as little as a year after losing limbs and suffering paralysis fighting for their country in Iraq, have set out to do what many thought impossible; to compete in the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing.
Through failure, pain and triumph Warrior Champions follows these solider athletes for a full year as they compete for their spot on the US Paralympic team. The film goes inside the famous Ward 57 of Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where Melissa and Scott mentor recently wounded soldiers who are battling depression.
‘I was in your shoes not too long ago.’ Melissa tells Juan, who lost both of his legs in Iraq. ‘But I’m telling you, I’ve done more in life with one leg than I ever would have done with two.’ Doctors at Walter Reed say they never would have dreamed that a wounded soldier could make it to the Paralympics so quickly after sustaining traumatic war injuries, and these athletes give the patients the hope many thought they had lost forever.
Though at times heart-wrenching, Warrior Champions is not a sad tale of the tragedy of war, but rather an uplifting testament to the human spirit that challenges every notion of what it means to be disabled.
Brothers Craig and Brent Renaud have directed and produced award winning films for HBO, NBC, Discovery, PBS, CBS, MTV and ESPN in places like Iraq, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Bolivia, China, Pakistan and Juarez. The Renaud brothers are the founders and creative directors of the Little Rock Film Festival and split their time between Little Rock, Arkansas and New York City.