'Heroes' for Heroes: Athletes compete in memory of late Navy Seal

By Angie Angers, Reporter
Last Updated: Sunday, July 16, 2017

Some of the Bay area’s top cross fit athletes went head to head Saturday, but their goal wasn’t to take home top prizes.

  • 'Heroes' for Heroes: Athletes compete in memory of late Navy Seal
  • Cross fit athletes complete "Heroes" workouts
  • Competition in honor of Navy Seal Brian Bill who died in 2011

It was a competition of strength and endurance at a Tampa cross fit gym.

Over 70 athletes from across the state, many current and former military, participated in the competition, all to support a man they never had the chance to meet.

“You never really heal. A piece of your heart has been cracked open,” Scott Bill said.

Bill lost his son Brian six years ago. He said Brian always wanted to by a Navy Seal and spent 11 years serving our country until he lost is life in 2011.

His final years spent in Seal Team 6, the hostage rescue team, serving in missions all over the world.

“I think through helping other families of those in active duty and veterans, it’s helped my healing process a lot,” Bill said.

Bill started the Brian Foundation to help veterans and gold star families through therapeutic programs.

And Saturday's event – every weight, every drip of sweat, and every rep – was all in Brian’s memory and other who have passed on.

“Obviously we know what sacrifices military families make for our country and our community, so we just wanted to gather and do something good,” Stephanie O’Donnell said.

Wearing weighted vests, the athletes completed four workouts called “Heroes.”

They’re designed to be the most physically taxing workouts in the sport. And each workout is named after someone who died in combat.

“If someone is willing to do that for their life, then this workout I’m going through is nothing in comparison to what he and others have given,” Christopher Wessler said.

All of the proceeds raised are going directly to The Brian Bill Foundation.

The competition was organized by South Tampa Crossfit and they hope to hold more in the future.