The U.S. Olympic Committee will host a sports competition for wounded warriors this year, the first of its kind.
The Pentagon announced Thursday that some 200 wounded members of the military and veterans will compete in the inaugural Warrior Games to be held May 10-14 in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Events will include shooting, swimming, archery, track,
discus, shot put, cycling, sitting volleyball and wheelchair basketball (shown here being played by Marines this fall at the White House while President Obama looks on).
Army Brig. Gen. Gary Cheek, commander of the U.S. Army Warrior Transition Command, made the announcement at a Pentagon news conference on Thursday.Athletes will be recruited from each military service, including the Coast Guard, through an independent selection process, according to the Pentagon’s news service. Competitors will train with Olympic and Paralympics coaches at the Olympic training facilities in Colorado for about a month before the actual competition.
The competition is open to military members and veterans with bodily injuries as well as mental wounds of war, such as post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury, according to the Pentagon’s news service.
The Army will send 100 soldiers chosen from a pool of almost 9,000 wounded warriors; the Marine Corps will send 50 competitors; the Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard will send 25 each.
“While we've made enormous progress in all the military services in our warrior care, … it's not enough,” Cheek said.
“And what we have to do with our service members is inspire them to reach for and achieve a rich and productive future -- to defeat their illness or injury to maximize their abilities and know that they can have a rich and fulfilling life beyond what has happened to them in service to their nation.”