One of the heroes honored at the ESPY Awards this year is U.S. Army Sgt. Elizabeth “Ellie” Marks. She was working as a combat medic in Iraq when both her hips were severely injured. She wears a prosthetic device on her left leg so she can walk. Since retiring from the Army, Marks has devoted her life to swimming. Her swimming career was disrupted when in September 2014, fluid filled her lungs. She was placed into a medically induced coma and put on an external lung machine. Marks returned to swimming less than a month after she emerged from her coma. She has since set a world record in the 50-meter breaststroke.
ESPN says that due to the scars on Marks’s legs, neck and arms, “people sometimes ask why she hasn’t undergone plastic surgery. TV producers often want to put makeup on them, and photo editors sometimes airbrush them out. All of which annoy her, as if they want to erase part of what made her who she is.” Marks will receive the Pat Tillman Award for Service at the ESPY Awards 2016, which will be televised on July 13 at 8pm on ABC.