Wounded, ill and injured Soldiers are currently training and competing to be one of 50 athletes who will represent the Army in the 2012 Warrior Games. The games are slated to take place from April 30 to May 5 in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The Army team will be announced in the March-April timeframe. Warrior Games are hosted by the U.S. Olympic Committee and supported by the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, USO, Fisher House Foundation and the Bob Woodruff Foundation.
Athletes from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Special Operations will compete for the gold in archery, cycling, wheelchair basketball, shooting, swimming, track and field, and sitting volleyball. Selection clinics will be held January through April.
“We are excited to be going back to Colorado next Spring and looking forward to the competitions,” said Brig. Gen. Darryl A. Williams, assistant surgeon general for Warrior Care and Transition and commander, Warrior Transition Command. “Working with these Soldier athletes is truly inspiring. Adaptive sports and reconditioning activities play major roles in the recovery and healing process of wounded, ill and injured Soldiers. It helps them meet physical goals more quickly and it also helps them appreciate their abilities and focus on life after injury.”
Adaptive sports and reconditioning programs are in place at all 29 Warrior Transition Units across the Army. In coordination with the Paralympic Military Program, physical therapists and medical providers incorporate adaptive activities into Soldiers’ treatment and recovery plans.
“Physical activity has been proven to be important in mental and physical well-being,” said Williams. “The spirit of competition inspires and empowers our Soldiers and athletes.”
Warrior Games presented by Deloitte was created in 2010 as an introduction to Paralympic sports for injured service members and veterans. The competition has become a springboard for many service members and veterans to continue participating in sports programs in their communities after the event.
Since its inception, Medical Treatment Facilities, Warrior Transition Units and Wounded Warrior Battalions East (Camp Lejeune) and West (Camp Pendleton) have seen a more than 20-percent increase in sports program participation by wounded, ill and injured service members.