COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado --
Known for their elite charisma and adaptability, the Marines competing here for the 2014 Warrior Games take on the true meaning of Espirit De Corps. They have overcome obstacles on and off the battlefield and will now compete in eight Paralympic-style sports to fight for gold in the 2014 Warrior Games from Sept. 28 to Oct. 5, 2014.
All gave some and some gave all. Here, the All-Marine team will have a chance to shine as athletes and express enthusiasm for the love of the game against their fellow service members in the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force, and Special Operations Command.
“I’m just looking for some good fun and some good competition,” said Sgt. Anthony McDaniel Jr. from Pascagoula, Mississippi. “I get along with everybody… and to have the Marines here…still being able to have an opportunity and going out and doing what we can to compete…it’s a great thing.”
These wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans will use skill, speed and teamwork to triumph over their competitors throughout the games. Sitting volleyball will be the kick-off sport on Sunday and will lead into a week of cycling, wheelchair basketball, swimming, archery and shooting. To wrap up the event, The Ultimate Champion and Chairman’s Cup will be presented during the Air Force vs. Navy Football Game half-time program to the team with the best overall performance. The All-Marine Team has won the Chairman’s Cup every year since the Warrior Gamesbegan in 2010.
For the past four years, The Warrior Games has been a catalyst for Marines with injuries and disabilities to show their strength and resilience as they move down the road to recovery. The Wounded Warrior Regiment was founded in 2007 with this exact intent, to focus on supporting and strengthening the mind, body, spirit and family of each Marine. And what better way to do this than competitive sports?
The transition for many of these Marines can deepen physical, mental and psychological stresses. Daily activities that were so simple before are now the struggles that leave Marines unsure of their capabilities. The Warrior Games shows just how capable these Marines are and that no matter what happens, their perseverance that lead them through their military career will now lead them through as recovering service members and veterans.
“I’ve seen other marines go through either similar injuries, or more or less traumatic injuries and just seeing how they deal with it is inspiring and teaches me a lesson in not giving up, especially if you see veterans who have been injured for quite a while,” said Capt. Derek Liu, from Orange County, California. “I know a lot of marines that don’t have the opportunity to compete in the Warrior Games and that outlet of playing sports provides us with something to keep our mind off of everything to focus on the game and camaraderie."
For more information and to get a better look at the Marine Team’s progress, visit www.facebook.com/wwr.usmc