Opening ceremonies for the 2011 Warrior Games began today at 5:00 p.m. Mountain Time at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
This event is the culmination of months of grueling work and tireless preparation by 200 wounded warrior athletes from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. And before that athletic training could even begin, many of these athletes spent months or even years striving to achieve a basic recovery from their wounds, injuries and illnesses. The Warrior Games are a highly visible and shining demonstration of the triumph of the spirit over the greatest adversity – of the power of ability over disability.
Beyond the scope of this one event, thousands of other wounded, ill and injured Service members and Veterans are using adaptive sports and athletic reconditioning programs to help with their recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration. These programs go far beyond physical reconditioning. They provide a focus and motivation to rehabilitation, challenging the individual to keep -- or regain -- the attitude and mental edge that made them outstanding warriors. These programs keep the warrior engaged in life, socially active, and effective in building new networks of other wounded, ill and injured warriors who refuse to let their physical conditions keep them out of the game. These programs even help some become “more than before,” challenging them to accomplish feats they didn’t even attempt before their injuries or illnesses.
The Office of Wounded Warrior Care and Transition Policy is proud to be involved in the Warrior Games, and dedicated to the continued support of the athletic reconditioning programs that prepare our wounded warriors to compete. These warriors are an inspiration, not only through their achievements at these Games, but for their victories in all aspects of their lives.
The best of luck to each of you.
CAPT Bernie Carter, Director of the Navy Safe Harbor Program, blogs about the Navy/Coast Guard team on
Aquita Brown from the
Patricia Sands posted a story on the
Air Force Staff Sgt. Erica Picariello reported on the Air Force Team’s preparations on the Air Force Wounded Warrior program’s Website
While these warriors may have worked alongside their sister Service members in battle, they will compete against each other May 16 through 21, in a variety of Paralympics-type events at the Olympic Training Center.
"This is an important event because a lot of times the athletes are experiencing sports for the first time post-injury or post-illness," said Cami Stock, the USAF Warrior Games team head coach. "I think this is an opportunity for them to push themselves past what they expect they can do and translate that perseverance into other parts of their lives."
Throughout this week, wounded warrior athletes will demonstrate the power of ability over disability again and again. Watch and be inspired.
Follow complete coverage of the 2011 Warrior Games on the Pentagon Channel at http://www.pentagonchannel.mil/pcindex.aspx?category=Warrior+Games