Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

200-plus disabled military await another fight at Warrior Games

BRIAN GOMEZ Updated: April 26, 2012 at 12:00 am

The First Lady is coming to Colorado Springs. So are the British. With loads of bragging rights on the line, they’ll be joined by disabled military for the Warrior Games.

More than 200 wounded, injured and ill service members and veterans of all the branches of the U.S. military are slated to compete Tuesday through Saturday in seven sports in the third annual event that’s being contested at Air Force and the Olympic Training Center.

Teams from the Air Force, Army and Marines and a combined Navy-Coast Guard squad, plus 18 guests from the British Armed Forces, will do battle in archery, cycling, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, track and field and wheelchair basketball. Like in the past, Paralympians aren’t eligible to participate, with the U.S. Olympic Committee running the festival with primary support from sponsor Deloitte and the U.S. Department of Defense.

“The Warrior Games truly exemplify the power not just of sport, but of the human spirit,” USOC chief executive officer Scott Blackmun said, adding that the fast-expanding USOC Paralympic Military Program ensures “that physical activity programming is available at the community level for our nation’s heroes to participate in sport.” British Armed Forces head David Richards noted, “Sport is a powerful tool in the recovery of our people.”

Leading the presidential delegation to the London Games this summer, Michelle Obama will speak Monday at the OTC during the Warrior Games opening ceremonies, which are closed to the public. The OTC’s cauldron will be lit by Melissa Stockwell, the two-time defending Para-triathlon world champion who swam at the 2008 Paralympics as an OTC resident, and Simon Maxwell, competing for the first time with the British Armed Forces.

“Although we wear a different uniform, we all stand for the same values, and to have the British Forces there really adds to the true camaraderie and energy,” said Stockwell, who lost her left leg above the knee in 2004 in becoming the first U.S. female soldier wounded in Iraq. For Maxwell, who lost his left leg below the knee in August, it’s “a truly special event for injured lads to take part in,” he said. “I’m really excited about the competition.”


WARRIOR GAMES SCHEDULE

MONDAY

*Opening ceremonies, Olympic Training Center, 3-4:30 p.m.

 

TUESDAY

Cycling, Stadium Boulevard at Air Force, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Wheelchair basketball, Cadet Field House and Cadet Gym at Air Force, 5-6:30 p.m.

Sitting volleyball, East Gym at Air Force, 7:30-9 p.m.

 

WEDNESDAY

Archery, indoor track at Air Force, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Wheelchair basketball, Cadet Field House and Cadet Gym at Air Force, 5-6:30 p.m.

Sitting volleyball, East Gym at Air Force, 7:30-9 p.m.

 

THURSDAY

Shooting, Olympic Shooting Center at the OTC, 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Wheelchair basketball, Cadet Field House and Cadet Gym at Air Force, 5:30-7 p.m.

Sitting volleyball bronze-medal match, East Gym at Air Force, 7:30-9 p.m.

 

FRIDAY

Track and field, outdoor track at Air Force, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Wheelchair basketball bronze-medal game, Cadet Field House at Air Force, 3-5 p.m.

Sitting volleyball gold-medal match, Cadet Field House at Air Force, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Wheelchair basketball gold-medal game, Cadet Field House at Air Force, 8:30-10:30 p.m.

 

SATURDAY

Swimming, natatorium at Air Force, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

 

*Event closed to the public

Contact Brian Gomez: 719-636-0256 or brian.gomez@gazette.com. Facebook: Brian Gomez. Twitter: @gazetteskysox. Google+: Brian Gomez.

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