The joint U.S. Special Operations Command Warrior Games team will join more than 200 other wounded warriors to kickoff the 2013 Warrior Games May 11.
In its fourth year, the Warrior Games is an Olympic-style event open to armed service members who were injured while serving on active duty. The USSOCOM team is comprised of more than 30 Special Operations athletes from across the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. The team will compete against athletes from other service branches including the United Kingdom's Armed Forces.
Throughout the week, Warrior Games athletes will compete in wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, archery, swimming, track and field, shooting and cycling. Each team will also compete for the Chairman’s Cup, awarded to the top overall performing team.
In preparation for the games, SOF Wounded Warrior athletes from around the nation have trained with professional coaches and athletes as part of the Wounded Warrior Athlete Reconditioning Program (WWARP).
“Wounded SOF service men and women have overcome significant challenges through participation in adaptive sports and recreation. The WWARP program is geared to helping them achieve rehabilitation and athletic goals, and to improve their overall quality of life,” said U.S. Army 2nd Lt. JodiAnn Gregory, USSOCOM Care Coalition and WWARP Lead Action Officer.
“Programs like WWARP and Warrior Games have significant benefits for our service members, whether it’s simple peer to peer mentorship, positive influence on the measures of independence or overall inspiration and motivation,” she said.
The Warrior Games were created in 2010 as an introduction to Paralympic sports for injured service members and veterans. Disabilities range from traumatic brain injury to amputation and severe burn injuries. Events conclude with awards and a celebration May 16.