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First lady Michelle Obama thanks the troops for their service and sacrifice at the 2012 Warrior Games opening ceremony April 30 at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. (USO photo by Joseph Andrew Lee)
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First Lady Michelle Obama Helps to Open 2012 Warrior Games

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

By Joseph Andrew Lee 

Wounded, ill and injured troops from the Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and the British Armed Forces gathered at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs yesterday to mark the official start of the 2012 Warrior Games.

The Colorado sun shone on first lady Michelle Obama as she joined Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army General Martin Dempsey, to thank the warrior-athletes for their service.

“As first lady, one of the best parts of my job is spending time with all of you,” Mrs. Obama said. “No matter how seriously you’re injured, no matter what obstacles or setbacks you face, you just keep moving forward. You just keep pushing yourselves to succeed in ways that just mystify and leave us all in awe, and that’s why I’m so excited to be here, so humbled to be here as we kick off the 2012 Warrior Games.”

After a representative from each team relayed the ceremonial torch toward the front of the procession, Army veteran Melissa Stockwell of Chicago and Royal Marine Captain Simon Maxwell from Croydon, England, climbed the staircase to light the Warrior Games cauldron.

Stockwell is the current 2012 paratriathlon world champion. She is believed to be the first woman soldier to lose a limb during the war in Iraq. Maxwell is a part of the British exhibition team that is participating in the Warrior Games for the first time. This will be his first competition since losing his leg to an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan last year.

“Every competitor here has faced adversity that most of us can never imagine,” Mrs. Obama said. “But because of your hard work, because of your grit and resilience ... you are all serving as role models for people in America and truly around the world.”

The U.S. Olympic Committee hosts the Warrior Games, and the USO is a supporter. More than 200 wounded, ill and injured troops and veterans will compete in seven sports from May 1-5. For more information, medal updates and stories about some of the athletes competing in this year’s games, follow Team USA.org and the USO on Facebook. And see more images from the Games on our Warrior Games Flickr set.

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Photo caption: First lady Michelle Obama thanks the troops for their service and sacrifice at the 2012 Warrior Games opening ceremony April 30 at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. (USO photo by Joseph Andrew Lee) 

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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