The Warrior Games

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Warrior Games, presented by Deloitte, were created in 2010 as an introduction to Paralympic sports for wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans.

The competition is a springboard for many service members and veterans to continue participating in sports programs in their communities.

Since the inception of Warrior Games – Medical Treatment Facilities, Warrior Transition Units and Wounded Warrior Battalions East (Camp Lejeune, N.C.) and West (Camp Pendleton, Calif.) have seen a more than a 20-percent increase in sports program participation by wounded warriors.

Warrior Games are hosted by the U.S. Olympic Committee and supported by the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, United Service Organizations Inc. (USO), Fisher House Foundation and the Bob Woodruff Foundation.

Athletes from the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Special Operations will compete for the gold in archery, cycling, wheelchair basketball, shooting, swimming, track and field, and sitting volleyball, April 30 – May 5, in Colorado Springs, Colo.

During the past several months, the Army Warrior Transition Command hosted training clinics and competitions in archery, cycling, wheelchair basketball, shooting, swimming, track and field, and sitting volleyball.

Active duty soldiers and veterans attended the clinics and competitions to earn one of 50 spaces on the Army team.

The Army Warrior Games team travelled to Colorado in April to train and compete with other service athletes in seven sports for the bronze, silver, gold and commander’s cup.

Whether in Olympic competitions or in Warrior Transition Units, adaptive sports and reconditioning activities play major roles in the recovery and healing process of wounded, ill and injured soldiers, Army officials said.

Adding, these activities help them meet physical goals more quickly, appreciate their abilities and focus on life after injury.

Physical activity is proven to be important to mental and physical well-being, and the spirit of competition inspires and empowers soldiers.

Adaptive sports and reconditioning programs are in place at all 29 Warrior Transition Units across the Army.

In coordination with the Paralympics Military Program, physical therapists and medical providers incorporate adaptive activities into soldiers’ treatment and recovery plans.