Achilles Freedom Team prepares for marathon - KMSP-TV

Achilles Freedom Team prepares for marathon

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DETROIT, Mich. (WJBK) -

A group of engineering students gathered along the Detroit River Saturday to reinvent the wheel. They're working to build better hand-crank cycles for disabled athletes, some of whom will race in Sunday's Free Press marathon.

Click on the video player to watch Robin Schwartz's report.

They whizzed past our cameras along the Detroit riverfront, test driving and tuning up hand-crank cycles. 19 members of the Achilles Freedom Team, injured fighting for our freedom in Iraq and Afghanistan are taking part in the marathon. They're also providing important input, helping engineering students build better cycles for all disabled athletes. Over the last nine years the team has recruited more than 1000 disabled veterans.

"One of the issues one of the problems that we got involved with is that our team members were so strong they kept breaking the chairs," explained Dick Traum, president of Achilles International. 

Michigan Technological University is taking on the challenge of reinventing the sets of wheels. Last year, General Motors donated 30 hand-crank cycles to the Achilles team and auctioned off a Camaro to raise $185,000. The bikes are expensive; $3,000-$7,000 a piece. But, the movement, freedom and confidence they provide our injured heroes is priceless.

Click here to learn more about the Achilles Freedom Team

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