James Stuck

USA’s Men's Sitting Volleyball Team

Status

James Stuck is a member of Team USA’s Men's Sitting Volleyball Team. He made the team in 2006 after spending nearly a year in Walter Reed Army Medical Center in rehabilitation recovering from losing part of his leg and other injuries in a 2005 IED attack in Kirkuk, Iraq. Stuck, a purple heart, achieved his status on the team as a setter and won The 2012 Sitting Male Athlete of the Year. Off the court, Stuck is a husband and also a dad to his two sons.

Values

Values

In interviews with Stuck, it is apparent he is good to the core and values his family, education, and athleticism. Just 5 months after he lost his limbs, he was skiing. Stuck enjoys to be active and does not let his disability hinder his determination. In the offseason, Stuck has been focusing on school and spending time with his two young sons, who are 2 ½ years and six weeks old. Stuck credits his kids with keeping him going and making him set a good example.Lastly, Stuck values his team "I would not be where I am without them".

Sports as a subculture

James Stuck is a member of Team USA Men's Sitting Volleyball. In sitting volleyball, a 0.8 meter-wide net is set at 1.15 meters high for men. The court is 10 x 6 meters with a 2-meter attack line. Players must have at least one buttock in contact with the floor whenever they make contact with the ball. Sitting Volleyball especially became popular in 1976 in Toronto Canada. After this, the game took off and is now featured in the Olympics. This sport is featured in the summer Olympics. Stuck revealed in an interview that Sitting Volleyball acted almost as a savior towards him, it gave him hope that he could be active once again.

Socialization

Since Stuck was not born with his disability, he had to learn how to over come living with one leg. Stuck went through mass amounts of Occupational therapy to learn how to work around it. After five months of being in the hospital, Stuck was back to being active, such as skiing. As Stuck was loosing hope after the attack in Iraq, he said his family was his encouragement to get back to living a normal life. Stuck was determined to become an active member of society, his plans after Occupational Therapy were to go back to school and work for the government or doing electrical. After being approached by a man in the hospital, he began working towards the Olympics. (A drastic change from government and electrical.) Stuck is still in school now and plans to land a job after he retires from the Men's Team.
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James wife, Kim seen above was one of his biggest motivators

Beijing China

Men's Sitting Volleyball is a summer sport, James was featured in the 2008 Summer Olympics. The Paralympic athletes compete two weeks after the other athletes. Yet, in my own opinion many of the other athletes get the commercials, the media, the grand opening. It is very rare to have the Paralympic Olympics aired, where they should be getting the same credit if not more for their event. As Stuck had fought in the War, leaving the country was nothing new to him. HIs wife Kim and his parents came to China with him to watch him compete. After the Summer Olympics, Stuck was awarded 2012 athlete of the year.
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Social Interaction/ Competition

The game keeps the basic rules for volleyball, the main difference for the sport is you play sitting down. Sitting Volleyball isn't just for people who were disabled, but for everybody. Organizers wanted to get people with disabilities and the able-bodied involved. "It still shows them that if something happens to them, someday, they can still be competitive. They can still play high-level sports, or they can still be active." For Stuck, he loves competing and still getting that "rush of adrenaline" when he is on the court.

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Symbolic Theory

Symbolic interaction theory analyzes society by addressing the subjective meanings that people impose on objects, events, and behaviors. In James Stuck's position, he symbolizes triumph and bravery. After an attack in Iraq, he came back from his injuries and was back to being athletic. Stuck symbolizes a role model. For those soldiers that have been hurt in combat, James is a living example that although things are tough at the moment, everything is going to be alright. Lastly the Olympics itself represents triumph and bravery. Athletes leave their country to compete in an event that they have been practicing for years, it takes great courage to get up in front of the world and show that you have perfected a skill.
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Reflection

I have learned so much from this project. To begin, I admire James Stuck for protecting my freedom and I cannot believe what he has over come in his life. I wish the Paralympic athletes were broadcasted on the media more often because their stories are amazing and should be heard. James Stuck is an amazing person and I am privileged to have written about him.