By Lance Cpl. Juan Anaya, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar
AIR FORCE ACADEMY, CO. --
Cpl. Kira R. Lavine, an air-support operations operator with Marine Air Support Squadron 3, Marine Air Control Group 38, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, sets two swimming records during the 2018 Department of Defense Warrior Games, a multi-day competition at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado, June 1 – 10.
Both active duty and veterans, competed in a variety of categories including archery, cycling, wheelchair basketball, track and field, sitting volleyball, shooting, swimming, indoor rowing, time trail cycling and powerlifting.
During the games, Lavine set two swimming event records in both the 50-meter and 100-meter freestyle. She also placed second in the 50-meter backstroke, first place in the 50-meter breaststroke, first place in the 200-meter freestyle, fifth place in an indoor four-minute endurance rowing race and seventh place during the one-minute rowing sprint race.
“I was mostly just impressed with my time,” said Lavine. “Thinking about the record wasn’t really a big deal, I was trying to beat my personal best.
“After going through an intensive outpatient program at Lake O'Neill, Camp Pendleton, California, I was swimming every single day… the coach asked me if I wanted to enroll in the Warrior Athlete Rehabilitation Program,” added Lavine. “While enrolled in WARP, they were able to take me to the Marine Corps trials and then the DoD Warrior Games.”
Because Lavine did well, she qualified for the games, which led to another level of athleticism because she was competing against women who were really good swimmers.
“It’s more fulfilling when you succeed with talented opponents,” said Lavine, who recalled first learning to swim in her grandparents’ pool at the age of four. Lavine’s mother, who was both a competitive diver and swimmer at Valhalla High School and San Diego State University, continues to be her role-model.
“My biggest role model for being competitive would be my mom,” said Lavine. “To sort of continue that legacy, even though I didn’t go to college right away, she’s who I draw a lot of inspiration from because I didn’t think after high school I’d be competing again.”
Over the years Lavine has dedicated her free time to improve her swimming. With a steadfast focus, determination and incomparable spirit that has benefitted not only her personal life, but her military career as well.
As an air-support operations operator with an aviation command and control unit, Lavine provides direct air support for I Marine Expeditionary Force and its major subordinate commands.
While preparing for the Warrior Games, her unit released her early for practice during lunch breaks as part of her every day routine in an effort to improve on her swimming.
“Two of my biggest supporters have been my platoon sergeant and corporal,” said Lavine. “Both of them allowed me to take the time to hone my abilities. Without them, I wouldn’t have had time to train properly.”