COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The 2013 Warrior Games presented by Deloitte concluded Thursday at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., with the Marine Corps winning a fourth Chairman's Cup, awarded to the top overall performing service branch at the Warrior Games. Air Force Captain Mitchell Kieffer was crowned the Ultimate Champion based on individual accolades.
The Warrior Games, which features five U.S. teams (Army, Marine Corps, Navy/Coast Guard, Air Force and Special Operations) and the British Armed Forces team, is a competition for 260 wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans held over six days at the U.S. Olympic Training Center and the U.S. Air Force Academy. In addition to Deloitte, the presenting sponsor, the fourth annual competition is also supported by the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, USO, Fisher House Foundation, AT&T, BP, Budweiser, Semper Fi Fund and Daniels Fund.
"Congratulations to all of the 2013 Warrior Games competitors," said Charlie Huebner, chief of Paralympics for the United States Olympic Committee. "While we celebrate medals, this competition is really an example of how sport can change lives. We hope these service members and veterans don't stop here. The goal is for them to return home and get involved in sport programs in their communities."
The Chairman's Cup is a performance based team award based on each team's top finishes in individual events as well as sitting volleyball and wheelchair basketball, the two team sports contested at the Warrior Games. The Marines claimed another Chairman's Cup with 100 points, topping Army, which finished with 85 points. Navy finished third while Air Force and Special Operations took fourth and fifth.
Highlighted by a 2-0 (25-21, 25-21) victory over defending champion Army in the sitting volleyball gold medal game, Marines won 34 gold medals, 33 silver medals and 26 bronze medals throughout the competition, leading the medal count in shooting, swimming and track and field. Marines won 93 medals of the 264 awarded at the Warrior Games.
Cpt. Kieffer (Apple Valley, Minn.), who has a traumatic brain injury from injuries sustained when his convoy was attacked in Baghdad, joins inaugural winner U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel Hathorne and Staff Sergeant Scott Martin, Marine Corps Veteran, and two-time winner Marine Cpt. Jonathan Disbro as Ultimate Champion. The Ultimate Champion title is based on five competitions: 50-meter freestyle in swimming; 10m prone air rifle, shooting; 100m sprint, track; race based on disability category, cycling; and shot put, field.
Kieffer's performance at the Warrior Games was highlighted by silver medal in the 10 meter prone air rifle competition. He finished fourth in the men's bicycle open event and the 50m freestyle. In track and field, he finished seventh in the men's 100m and eighth in the shot put.
Marine Sgt. Jorge Toledo (Oceanside, Calif.) finished second in the Ultimate Champion competition with veteran Marine Sgt. Brian Riley (San Diego, Calif.) taking third. Other competitors were Army Staff Sgt. Krisell Creager-Lumpkins (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Air Force Captain Sarah Evans (Shalimar, Fla.), retired Navy Operations Specialist 2nd Class Joe Frank (San Diego, Calif.), veteran Army Staff Sgt. Seth Jahn (Lakeland, Fla.) of Special Operations, veteran Senior Airman Kendell Madden (Parker, Colo.) of Special Operations and Navy Chief Gunner's Mate Jeannette Tarqueno (Honolulu, Hawaii).
For more on the 2013 Warrior Games presented by Deloitte, visit teamusa.org/warriorgames/.