By Tom Degun

Rob Jones_24-10-12October 24 - London 2012 Paralympic bronze medallist Rob Jones, an Afghanistan war veteran, has been named the 2012 United States Rowing Man of the Year for his outstanding contributions to the sport.

The 27-year-old former US Marine from Lovettsville lost both his legs in July 2010 when he stepped on a landmine during a patrol with his unit in Afghanistan.

But after taking up rowing as part of his rehabilitation, he stormed to a bronze medal at Eton Dorney in the trunk and arms mixed double sculls alongside Oksana Masters to give US Rowing their only medal of the Paralympic Games.

Jones will be honoured on December 1 at an awards reception held in conjunction with the 2012 US Rowing Annual Convention scheduled in Oklahoma.

Oksana Masters_and_Rob_Jones_11-10-12After winning a Paralympic bronze medal at the London 2012 Paralympics alongside Oksana Masters (L), Rob Jones (R) is being honoured by US Rowing

"It is a great privilege for me to be recognised in such a select group of individuals, men who have set their sights on a task knowing the difficulties they would have to endure, and proceeding anyway, with full commitment," said Jones.

"I wouldn't have made it through my task without first, my partner Oksana, and also our high calibre cadre of coaches, Rob Macdonald, Brad Lewis, Roger Payne, Patrick Johnson, Bob Hurley, Justin and Katie Lednar, and others who helped us along the way such as Kevin Sauer, Karen Lewis, Frank Biller, Virginia Rowing, SORA and the Rivanna Rowing Club.

"Not to mention my close support group of friends, family and all of the people who were rooting for me from Walter Reed.

"I will do my best throughout my life to live up to this title and the honour that comes with it.

"And I will continue to work my hardest to improve this sport and the standing of the United States in the international ranks."

Oksana Masters_and_Rob_Jones_11-10-121Oksana Masters and Rob Jones will also receive the 2012 Isabel Bohn Award for Achievement in Adaptive Rowing

US Rowing chief executive Glenn Merry has led the plaudits for Jones.

"Rob Jones is such a unique story in American rowing that it warrants man of the year," he said.

"An athlete, a marine and a Paralympian, Rob came to rowing relatively late in the game.

"His accomplishments on the field of play during the past year, from qualifying for the trunk and arms mixed double to winning a bronze at the Paralympics, is remarkable, as is his personal story in how he came to become an adaptive athlete.

"Congratulations to Rob on his fantastic accomplishments."

At the awards, US Rowing will recognise individuals and organisations for their contributions and achievements in 14 categories.

Seven of the awards will be presented on November 14 at the Golden Oars Dinner including the US Rowing Medal of Honour that will go to Stan Pocock, the Male Athlete of the Year to Glenn Ochal, the Female Athlete of the Year to Masters, the Jack Franklin Lifetime Achievement Award to Kate Godwin, the Jack Kelly Award to Mike Knopp, the Anita DeFrantz Award for Advancing Diversity in Rowing to RowLA and the Isabel Bohn Award for Achievement in Adaptive Rowing that will go to Jones and Masters.

The Seven additional US Rowing Awards will be presented on December 1 in Oklahoma.

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