[caption id=“attachment_2469” align=“aligncenter” width=“500” caption=“Despite the competition, sailor and soldier refused to leave a fellow female soldier behind, crossing the finish line together at the 2010 Warrior Games. (Photo courtesy of Flickr.com/theUSO)”][/caption]
Competition may be over for the nearly 200 athletes who took part in the inaugural Warrior Games in Colorado, but their determined spirits continue to inspire. From archery to swimming, basketball to volleyball, cycling to track and field, these athletes - representing all five branches of the military - showed that no injury or disability could diminish the desire to compete and succeed on the playing field and off.
And while rivalries among the branches were strong, a common sense of camaraderie pervaded every moment of the Games. “Certainly, there were teams out there fighting for their colors, but I notice in every circumstance, when the competition ended, there were arms around each other,” Air Force Gen. Victor E. Renuart Jr., commander of U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command, told the troops. “It was about how we competed as a team.”
[caption id=“attachment_2470” align=“aligncenter” width=“500” caption=“U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel Hathorne accepts the Ultimate Champion award at the Warrior Games at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo. May 14, 2010. Hathorne scored two gold medals and a bronze at the games earning him the top honors. (DoD photo by Fred W. Baker III)”][/caption]
Here at the USO, we could not be more proud of these games and the athletes who competed to admirably. And with talk of the second annual Warrior Games already underway, we’re excited what the future holds. “How do you beat this place?” Brig. Gen. Gary Cheek told the Colorado Springs’ newspaper The Gazette. “It has been a terrific week. Having the magic and the history that emanates here, all the great American athletes that have trained here, it sparked the enthusiasm we’ve had. We’re very proud we can now add to that history.”
Congratulations to every participant, all of the winners (click here to see all results), and all of the staff, volunteers, and sponsors who made the inaugural Warrior Games such a tremendous success. And finally, take a moment to check out last night’s “Making a Difference” segment on NBC News, a fitting tribute to our warrior athletes…
More from the USO
May 25, 2017
NBC's 'This Is Us' Cast Visits Service Members and Military Families on USO Tour at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst
It was a morning to remember. A group of stars from NBC’s “This Is Us” – Mandy Moore, Milo Ventimiglia, Chrissy Metz, Justin Hartley, Susan Kelechi Watson and Chris Sullivan – spent a morning visiting service members and their families at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst as part of a USO entertainment tour.
May 24, 2017
After Struggling to Find His Place in the World, Marine Finds Two Families – and His Place in Both
Deron Johnson didn't plan on joining the military, but he ended up a Marine. He also didn't anticipate becoming a fraternity brother at Texas A&M, but then came Theta Chi and its history of supporting the military - and the USO.
May 15, 2017
USO Operation Birthday Cake Brings the Party to Service Members in Japan
When Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Jeffrey Lee received an urgent call to head to his work station one morning, he thought there was something seriously wrong, but there was no emergency. Instead, he walked into his own surprise birthday celebration, courtesy of his wife, USO Yokosuka and the Operation Birthday Cake Program.