After last night’s opening ceremonies for the 2011 Warrior Games, the athletes got down to serious competition today.
Today’s events include Track and Field Competition, Shooting Relays, Wheelchair Basketball, and Sitting Volleyball.
More than 200 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen opened the 2011 Warrior Games at the U.S. Olympics Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., May 16th.
Replete with military honors, including a flyover by Navy F-18 Super Hornet fighter jets, the ceremony kicked-off a challenging and competitive week for wounded, injured and seriously-ill athletes.
“For me carrying that torch shows that there is hope after injury,” (Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael K. Bell) said. “You have to adapt and overcome.”
The wheelchair basketball players crashed into a pile and a wheelchair turned over with its rider still holding on. With one swift and very strong movement, however, SPC Blake McMinn jumped the wheelchair straight in to the air and got himself and his wheelchair right up again. It came down with such force that he and his wheelchair bounced up in the air. It was a combo of gymnastics and martial arts. In a split second he was barreling down the lane, blocking the ball from another player. It was super human. These powerful Soldiers play one mean game of round ball.
Watch them for a second and you see their ability—not their disability. They take a knock and can give a few out. They are athletes, and as one player said, “We came ready to deliver a whoopin’ to the Marines.”
The Marines said they “devastated” the All-Army team at the 2010 Warrior Games.
“We brought it last year, and there was a lot of smack-talking,” said veteran Marine Richard Bacchus of the sitting volleyball team, remembering the intense final game against the Army. “It was crazy.”
Last year, the Marines manned their sitting volleyball team by quick fills – anyone who was interested in competing in the sitting volleyball event was on the team. This year, through the success of recruiting wounded warriors and competition at the Marine Corps Trials, the Marines were able to select the best participants in the sport.
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