Marathoner who lost leg serving in Afghanistan to start Puyallup track meet

Tacoma News TribuneMay 30, 2014 

Amputee marathoner Edward Lychik is disarmingly funny and frank as he gives lessons in life to fifth and sixth graders at Maplewood Elementary School in Puyallup, April 9, 2014.

PETER HALEY

Edward Lychik, a local marathoner who lost his left leg while serving in the Army in 2011, returns to his Puyallup roots next week for an appearance at a youth track meet.

Lychik will serve as the official starter for the Puyallup School District’s elementary school track meet at Sparks Stadium on June 3.

Lychik, who grew up in Puyallup, was shot in the leg while serving as an Army combat engineer in Afghanistan.

“At first I was really focused on what I couldn’t do,” Lychik told The News Tribune moments after he finished the May 4 Tacoma City Marathon. Then he started thinking about what he could do.

He’s emerged as a motivational figure and a celebrity in running circles after finishing the Boston Marathon in April then the Tacoma City Marathon two weeks later.

“I’m not out here for me,” Lychik said of his budding running career on May 4. “I’m out here for everybody else. I want them to see disabilities in a different way.”

Lychik was born in Ukraine but moved to Puyallup when he was 8. In an April interview with The News Tribune he described himself as shy and said he never felt at home in high school. He finished high school as a home-school student. He enlisted in the Army and was assigned to a Stryker brigade at Fort Wainwright, Alaska.

 

 

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