This U.S. Paralympian is inspiring all and building a brighter future for young girls like her.
Melissa Stockwell has been a proud American and a dedicated athlete from a young age. She grew up a competitive gymnast, passionate about the red, white and blue and eager to represent her country in whatever way she could. This commitment led her to the military and now the U.S. Paralympic Team and her role in NABISCO’s “Snack Together.
Win Together.” campaign.
Three years after joining the army, Stockwell’s Humvee was struck by a roadside bomb in Iraq, leading to the loss of her left leg above the knee. While her time in the army ended abruptly, her perseverance allowed her to maintain a positive perspective on life.
After one year at Walter Reed Medical Center adapting to her new normal, Stockwell started training for the Paralympic Games. Today, she’s readying for Tokyo, inspiring young women, and starring in a new campaign for NABISCO. We were lucky enough to chat with her about her journey and her favorite snacks she’s brought along the way.
What inspired you to compete for Team USA in the Paralympics?
When I was at Walter Reed, there was a presentation about the Paralympic Games, and I walked into this room and was told that if I trained hard enough, if I dedicated myself to a sport, I could compete on the world’s biggest athletic stage, representing a country I defended in Iraq. I walked out of that room knowing that somehow, some way I wanted to
be a U.S. Paralympian.
What are you most looking forward to about this year’s Paralympics?
The pandemic affected the whole world. My hope is that it’s very much a celebration of getting through the pandemic, hopefully ending up better on the other side. Since spectators aren’t allowed, my family and friends are going to be back here watching virtually in the living room with NABISCO’s Chips Ahoy! and OREO cookies.
Do you have fun memories of NABISCO with your kids or from when you were a kid?
I think the big question is how do you eat your OREO cookie? Do you take a bite? Do you twist it off? That’s kind of the game we play here. And I think that kind of stems back to my childhood, as well.
What’s been your favorite part of working with NABISCO and the, “Snack Together. Win Together.” campaign so far?
NABISCO’s not only the Official Cookie and Cracker sponsor of Team USA, but they’ve gone above and beyond, producing
Chips Ahoy! that have red, white and blue chips; OREO cookies with Team USA emblems and red, white and blue cream with popping candy on the inside. That’s iconic America right there.
You’re going to be in the Ritz TVC—what does that mean to you?
I think with Team USA, and the Olympic and Paralympic Games, you connect and inspire families and people of all ages. I’m able to, as part of a campaign, create this video content around the NABISCO products with hopes that maybe there’s a little girl who’s inspired. Maybe she sees me on TV, sees me racing, and she thinks about the possibilities for her own life. It’s really cool to be a part of that.
After you win the gold, what’s your first snack that you’re going to have?
OREO cookies, one hundred percent.