The Warrior Games, an athletic competition for 180 wounded servicemen and women, wrapped up over the weekend in Colorado Springs. The Denver Post highlights the event in profiles of the competitors that put the average struggles of most of us into perspective.

Take, for instance, the story of Gavin Sibayan, once the captain of his swimming team at Westminster High School. Fast forward 11 years, and Sibayan finds himself trying to regain his strength and full health after serving in the U.S. Army as an MP and suffering a traumatic brain injury and hip dislocations following an improvised explosive device attack. He heard about the Warrior Games and had a little more than a month to train, yet Sibayan found a way to win four gold medals in Friday’s swimming finals.

“This is all about focusing on abilities and defeating disabilities,” Brigadier General Gary Cheek, who is in charge of the Army’s Warrior Transition Command, tells the Post. “I firmly believe that in athletic competition and physical activity, you rebuild and restore confidence,” Cheek says. “We want them to propel themselves into their future, to be prosperous, productive and independent. We want them to go out and do things, make things, and give things to other people.”