Event: Snowboard cross
Classification: Upper Limb Impairment
Current Residence: West Chester, Pa.
Service Branch: United States Army
Rank: Sergeant First Class
Coach: Miah Wheeler
- 2014: U.S. Paralympics Snowboard Cross National Championships, 1st
- 2013: World Cup Maribor, 1st; NorAm Copper Mountain, 1st
United States Army Sergeant 1st Class Marc Dervaes was traveling with his convoy in the Kunar province of Afghanistan when insurgents ambushed his vehicle. Multiple rocket-propelled grenades struck Dervaes’ Humvee, destroying his right arm. In spite of his injuries, Dervaes communicated with his platoon to arrange his own medevac, and he was eventually evacuated to Germany before being transferred to San Antonio. At the Brooke Army Medical Center and the Center for the Intrepid at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Dervaes underwent five surgeries and overcame infection while learning to adapt.
Prior to his injury, Dervaes loved kayaking and mountain biking, and he quickly found ways to return to the sports that he loved. Within months, Dervaes had five separate prostheses specifically meant for various activities: one slotted to hold a kayak paddle, for instance, and one with a shock absorber for mountain biking. He began paddling again with an organization called Heroes on the Water and eventually started Team River Runner, a group of veteran kayakers based out of Fort Sam Houston. Dervaes also works as the Colorado Springs community outreach coordinator for the Wounded Warrior Project.