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PHOTOS: Athletes Showcase Skills, Sportsmanship at 2012 Warrior Games

Friday, May 04, 2012

The USO returned for a third consecutive year as a proud sponsor of the 2012 Warrior Games held in Colorado Springs, Colo. The week-long annual Olympic-style athletic competition for wounded, ill and injured service men and women from all branches of the military is a highlight of the USO's support provided to our nation’s healing heroes and their caregivers.

"The Warrior Games is an opportunity for the USO to demonstrate our commitment to supporting our nation’s healing heroes and their families," said USO President and CEO Sloan Gibson. "The USO supported them during their service at home and overseas and we will continue to be there for them as they transition to civilian society. The dedication and determination of these modern warriors is an inspiration to us all."

Two hundred and twenty wounded, ill and injured service men and women from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Special Operations Command and United Kingdom Armed Forces competed in events such as archery, cycling, wheelchair basketball, shooting, swimming, track & field and sitting volleyball. Athletes with disabilities including -- amputations, spinal cord injuries, post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury (this category also includes cerebral palsy and stroke) -- are eligible. Earlier in the year, participants competed in order to be selected by each individual branch of service on an invitation-only basis based on disability.

The event, organized and led by the U.S. Olympic Committee, is also supported by the Department of Defense, Deloitte, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Fisher House Foundation, the Daniels Fund, AT&T, BP, DeVry, Anheuser Busch and Chobani.


Michelle Obama stands with Royal Marine Captain Simon Maxwell and Melissa Stockwell, believed to be the first female amputee from the war in Iraq, at the 2012 Warrior Games at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., last Monday.


Team Army is followed by Team Marines during the procession leading into the 2012 Warrior Games opening ceremony last Monday.


Army Sgt. Major Chris Self from the SOCOM (Special Operations) team finishes first in Men's Physical Disability category to capture the first gold medal for the SOCOM team.


Although his tire blew out, retired Navy Boatswain's Mate 1st Class Jim Castaneda inspired everyone by pushing to the finish during the opening day of competition last Monday.


Army (in black) takes on the Marine Corps in sitting volleyball.


Steady truly wins the race to the top in archery, as one athlete takes aim.


Medals are given out, but its the memories and friendships that truly last as athletes from the Army, Marines and Navy exchange high-fives on the medal stand.

* Visit USO Warrior Games Flickr page for more images from the event. 

 (Photos by Joseph Andrew Lee. Produced by Christian Pelusi) 

Related Link: Get the details and register today for the 2012 Caregivers Conference at Fort Sam Houston, Texas on May 30. 


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