Team Navy kicked off its participation in the annual Department of Defense (DoD) Warrior Games June 1 during the opening ceremony at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, marking a return to the inaugural home of the competition.
Comprised of 40 athletes from Navy Wounded Warrior-Safe Harbor, Team Navy joins approximately 210 other service members and veterans from the Army, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Air Force, and Special Operations Command. Athletes from the United Kingdom Armed Forces, Australian Defense Force, and Canadian Armed Forces are also competing in the games.
“It is truly humbling to be here cheering on the athletes of team Navy,” said Vice Adm. Mary Jackson, commander, Navy Installations Command.
“The athletes competing at the Warrior Games are the epitome of toughness, tapping all sources of strength and resilience.”
The Warrior Games were established in 2010 as a way to enhance the recovery and rehabilitation of wounded, ill and injured service members and expose them to adaptive sports.
During the event, which is scheduled to take place through June 9, athletes will test their abilities in 11 adaptive sports, including archery, cycling, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, track and field, and wheelchair basketball.
Additionally, for the first time in Warrior Games history, athletes will compete in indoor rowing, powerlifting, and time-trial cycling.
“Learning how to compete using adaptive equipment has reinforced that I am still capable of accomplishing great things and giving back to my country, my community and my Sailors,” said NDC Julius McManus. “The Warrior Games have re-kindled my desire for competition and have helped me to remember that I am more than my injuries.”
MACS David Mills, who is participating in the games for the first time, said being a part of the event has brought on a wave of emotions.
“Participating in the Warrior Games is a very humbling experience for me,” Mills said. “I think about it a lot, and I get emotional at times. I am not only representing myself and 39 other people on Team Navy, I am representing the Navy as a whole, and those who served before.”
Navy Wounded Warrior-Safe Harbor is the Navy’s sole organization for coordinating the non-medical care of seriously wounded, ill and injured Sailors and Coast Guardsmen and providing resources and support to their families. Through proactive leadership, the program provides individually tailored assistance designed to optimize the success of the wounded warriors’ recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration activities.