The Warrior Games
The U.S. Department of Defense created the DoD Warrior Games to introduce sick and wounded service members to the motivational challenges of team sports and Olympic-style competition. The next Warrior Games will take place in September 2021. The Marine Corps’ Wounded Warrior Regiment were slated to host the 2020 Department of Defense Warrior Games in San Antonio, Texas.
In 2010, the United States Department of Defense created the Warrior Games to introduce sick and wounded service members to the motivational challenges of team sports and Olympic-style competition. “After overcoming significant injuries and illnesses,” the Warrior Games official site states, “these athletes prove that life can continue after becoming wounded, ill and injured”.
The competitions themselves are known as “adaptive sports”, including track and field, powerlifting, cycling, wheelchair basketball, and sitting volleyball.
Today, the Warrior Games is an annual event that, much like the Olympics, finds a new venue each year to showcase the games.
Who Can Compete In The Warrior Games?
According to the Warrior Games official site, this competition is for “wounded, ill, or injured” service members from any branch of the military. Prior to being allowed to compete, the applicant must be enrolled in her/his branch of the service’s Wounded Warrior program, which provides “non-medical care” to seriously ill or injured Post-9/11 service members.
My Spouse/Family Member Is Competing In The Games. Can I Accompany Them?
The Warrior Games official site states that two family members are allowed to attend the games with the athlete. This is thanks to the patronage of the Fisher House Foundation, which offers the two-loved one stay via WarriorGamesFamilyProgram.org.
The support offered by the Fisher House is substantial; this program includes round-trip airfare, lodging, transportation, food, and more.
Who Can View The Warrior Games?
Photo by Air Force Master Sgt. Barry Loo.
The games travel each year to a new venue, but they are free and open to the public. Past games have been held at professional sports arenas such as Chicago’s Soldier Field in 2017, but also on military installations such as the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Some take advantage of the fact that the games are held on a military base to get a look at the facilities as a member of the public; there may be opportunities to view static aircraft displays, get limited base tours, or other perks of seeing the games at a military location that doesn’t otherwise open to the public most days.
Warrior Games events are open to the public but the usual rules apply; you may be required to furnish a valid state ID in order to enter a military facility or installation, and whatever identification may be required to enter sports arenas or other private property will also apply. Standard sports venue rules and regulations may apply with regard to outside food, open containers, alcohol, etc.
How Many People Compete In the Warrior Games?
As many as 300 athletes registered for the 2018 Warrior Games. In 2017 more than 260 took part in the competition.
Can I Volunteer At The Warrior Games?
For volunteering questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s important to remember that each year’s venue for the games is subject to change. Getting in touch regarding available volunteer opportunities may require you to make contact during the planning stages for the next Warrior Games to be added to the volunteer list. If location is an important factor in your decision to volunteer, getting in touch early may be helpful.
Why Are The Warrior Games So Important To Military People?
The military is well-known for its’ emphasis on fitness, teamwork, and striving for excellence. According to the Warrior Games official page, those are the same motivations that inspire the event.
“Serious illness or injury can profoundly impact that way of life, often confining a service member to a hospital bed and significantly altering their physical capabilities. Adaptive sports help our wounded warriors build strength and endurance, while also drawing inspiration from their teammates.”
What Are Adaptive Sports?
The Warrior Games feature sporting events adapted to accommodate the physical needs of the contestants. Wheelchair basketball is likely one of the best known and most easily recognized of the adaptive sports; it’s a type of competition that has gained high visibility in the media thanks in part to Warrior Games-type events.
Some adaptive sports require special equipment, such as the Warrior Games shooting competition, which uses Olympic-grade pellet guns. Others may be simple modifications to a sport such as cycling. The Warrior Games cycling events are known as “time trial cycling” which pits contestants against the clock alone rather than requiring pacers or having cyclists compete side by side.
What Kind Of Adaptive Sports Will I See At The Warrior Games?
There are a variety of events including track and field competitions, powerlifting, sitting volleyball, wheelchair basketball, plus shooting, cycling, archery, and swimming. The nature of the number of sporting events in each category is subject to change depending on the number of eligible competitors and other factors.
Warrior Games events are set up, depending on the sport, with both trials/prelims and final competitions.
Some days several events may take place simultaneously at different locations, but many days feature a single event through a specific time period followed by a different type of competition after. Attendees should expect multiple locations for sporting events, and also extras such as opening and closing ceremonies, expos, and concerts.