7th Annual Warrior Games
Athletes compete in air rifle shooting at the 7th Annual Warrior Games in Chicago, Ill.
Over 200 veterans and active duty soldiers are competing in a nine-day competition in Chicago, IL. for bronze, silver and gold medals.
Hundreds of veterans and active duty service members gathered in the Windy City for the 2017 Department of Defense (DoD) Warrior Games. The nine-day event offers disabled veterans and wounded service members the opportunity to take part in events such as wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, shooting, archery, track and field, cycling and swimming.
The Warrior Games got its start in 2010 the DoD took over. With more than 260 athletes, the event is a great way for injured veterans to remain active and help their rehabilitation.
“I enjoy watching the soldiers figuring themselves out,” says Army veteran, Roosevelt “RJ” Anderson, Jr. “They might not be good at a sport, but they’ve trained for months to come here and the rehabilitation behind the scene is what I really love to see. You don’t even know that you’re getting better, you’re just trying to get better at a sport and it just changes your whole mentality about life.”
The Navy battles the U.K. in wheelchair basketball at the 7th Annual Warrior Games in Chicago, Ill.
Teams representing the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and Special Operations Command (SOCOM), The United Kingdom Armed Forces and The Australian Defense Force will compete for gold, silver and bronze medals. The teams include both active duty service members and veterans with upper body, lower body and spinal-cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, visual impairment, serious illness and post-traumatic stress.
“The thing I like most about the warrior games is that it gives the soldier the opportunity to figure themselves out. A lot of people have been injured, wounded, or ill and they don’t know where they stand,” says Anderson. “Everyone knows the numbers on how many soldiers commit suicide per day, and this is what prevents that. This is what helps people get through that, so that’s what I enjoy is the comradery and seeing people accomplish what they’ve put forward for training purposes.”
More than 50 athletes have traveled overseas to compete at this year's Warrior Games. The U.K. has participated in five of the seven Warrior Games. This year, the U.K have 40 athletes competing, and Australia is competing for the first time, with more than 13 athletes.
The U.S. Navy is hosting the games this year in partnership with the city of Chicago. The role of hosting the games rotates between the military branches each year, so each service gets a chance to host. This year is the first time the games are being held entirely outside a military installation or Olympic committee facility.
The more public McCormick Place in the heart of downtown Chicago brings hope to increase exposure of the event.
The Warrior Games are being held from June 30 to July 8. For more information, visit the Warrior Games online
7th Annual Warrior Games
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