A sergeant who earned four gold medals swimming at this year's Invictus Games will add to her hardware collection July 13 when she receives the Pat Tillman Award for Service during the annual ESPY awards.
Sgt. Elizabeth Marks, a member of the Army's World Class Athlete Program, will be the third recipient of the honor, which goes to "an individual with a strong connection to sports who has served others in a way that echoes the legacy of Tillman," according to an ESPN news release.
Tillman, a former Arizona Cardinals defensive back-turned-Army Ranger, died in Afghanistan in 2004. The Pat Tillman Foundation, a co-sponsor of Marks' honor, awards scholarships to service members and their spouses in Tillman's memory.
Sgt. Elizabeth Marks pets Bugsy, a Marine's service dog, while attending the gold-medal wheelchair basketball game between the U.S. and Great Britain at the Invictus Games last month in Orlando, Florida.
Photo Credit: Roger Wollenberg/DoD
London doctors put her on life support for about two weeks. She would suffer a decreased lung capacity and other effects from the ordeal, including problems seeing while swimming.
Despite these concerns, Marks worked her way back into international competition, taking gold at the 2016 Invictus Games in Orlando, Florida, in the 50-meter freestyle, backstroke and breaststroke as well as the 100-meter freestyle. She received worldwide attention for asking Prince Harry, creator of the Invictus Games, to return one of the medals to hospital workers in London who saved her life in 2014. He did so recently.
Marks "is an athlete of remarkable courage and perseverance who has made extraordinary sacrifices in her own life to help others and serve our country," said ESPN's Connor Schell, head of the network's films and original entertainment division, in the release. "She represents the best of our country and we are proud to present her with this award."
The ESPYs will air live on ABC at 8 p.m. Eastern, hosted by the WWE's John Cena.