Department of Defense & USOC announce inaugural Warrior Games

Jan. 07, 2010, 11:42 a.m. (ET)

Washington, DC--Wounded servicemen and women will compete in the inaugural Warrior Games May 10-14, 2010, through a joint effort between the U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Olympic Committee. These inaugural games are part of an effort to inspire recovery, capitalize on physical fitness, and promote new opportunities for growth and achievement. Commanding general of the U.S. Army Warrior Transition Command (WTC) Brig. Gen. Gary Cheek, Chief of Paralympics for the U.S. Olympic Committee Charlie Huebner, and Associate Director of Community and Military Programs for the U.S. Paralympics and retired two-time U.S. Paralympian John Register announced the Warrior Games at a press conference Thursday at the Pentagon.

"We want all our nation's wounded warriors to strive to test new limits and achieve new goals as they demonstrate the power of ability over disability," said Cheek. "Our service members continually rise to the occasion both in the call to duty and in their efforts to recover from serious injury. The Warrior Games will provide a unique challenge for those who wish to learn more about adaptive sports and compete at a national level."

Eligibility will include wounded, ill, and injured service members from differing categories including:

-Upper body injuries
-Lower body injuries
-Spinal cord injuries
-Traumatic brain injuries
-Post-traumatic stress 

The events will be shooting, swimming, archery, sitting volleyball, cycling, track, wheelchair basketball, discus, and shot put. In addition to winners in each event, there will be an "Ultimate Warrior" competition in a pentathlon format, and service team scoring for a rotating Chairman's Cup. An estimated 200 athletes will be drawn proportionally from each service. 

Wounded servicemen and women from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard will participate in the Warrior Games which will be hosted by the U.S. Olympic Committee's (USOC) Paralympic Military Program at the Olympic Training Center, Colorado Springs, Colo. The Warrior Games represent the latest addition to a cooperative effort between the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Olympic Committee, with support provided by the United Services Organization (USO), American Red Cross, and Ride 2 Recovery (R2R) in emphasizing the role of athletics in the recovery of wounded, ill, and injured service members.

The Warrior Games help elevate abilities through athletic competition for wounded, ill, and injured service members, by providing a focal event to empower the incorporation of athletics into military wounded warrior programs. This process will provide the opportunity to serve as an introduction to Paralympic sports for injured service members, while at the same time building camaraderie and raising awareness of Paralympic sports.

Being physically fit is a part of military service. The Warrior Games will demonstrate the continued role physical fitness can play in service members' lives regardless of injury.