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Posted by on Jun 10, 2018 in Inspiration and Living, Military | 0 comments

2018 Warrior Games, Concluded but not Forgotten

The Department of Defense Warrior Games were established in 2010 “as a way to enhance the recovery and rehabilitation of wounded, ill and injured service members and to expose them to adaptive sports.”

I have tried to write about these noble Games, and about a similar event — The Invictus Games, inspired by the Warrior Games – on a regular basis.

Alas, that did not happen his year.

The 2018 Warrior Games were held June 1 to June 9 at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Approximately 300 wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans participated in the competition, representing the United States Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Special Operations Command in addition to athletes from the U.K. Armed Forces, Australian Defence Force and Canadian Armed Forces.

The sports these athletes participated in were archery, cycling, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, track and field, and wheelchair basketball, and for the first time in Warrior Games history, indoor rowing, powerlifting, and time trial cycling.

The remarks delivered during the opening ceremonies of the Games are always inspiring. They refer to the courage, resilience, grit and determination of these athletes.

This year’s opening remarks by Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. David L. Goldfein were no exception.

There’s this old saying, ‘Age wrinkles the body but quitting wrinkles the soul. And while all of us grow older, not all of us grow stronger as we age. The athletes and warriors we celebrate this week show us how to grow stronger over time as they conquer the daily challenges in mind, in body, in spirit. Warrior Games athletes are not defined by illness, injury or the invisible wounds of war. They’re defined by their courage, their determination, their grit, their resilience and their friends and family who cheer them on here and at home.

While too late to cover these brave men and women while they display such qualities, it is not too late to look back at their performances and achievements – after watching the inspiring “Official 2018 DoD Warrior Games Intro Video,” below, with a voice-over by President John F. Kennedy.

Now some images:

Army 1st Sgt. Jarrid Collins, a member of the U.S. Special Operations Command team, serves a ball during the bronze medal sitting volleyball round of the 2018 Department of Defense Warrior Games at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., June 8, 2018. DoD photo by EJ Hersom

Archers compete in the 2018 Department of Defense Warrior Games, June 7, 2018. DoD photo by EJ Hersom

Madison Gumbert, 8, plays wheelchair rugby during an exhibition day for families during the 2018 Department of Defense Warrior Games, June 4, 2018. DoD photo by EJ Hersom

Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Esther Stevenson tumbles while taking a shot during a sled hockey exhibition at the Games, June 7, 2018. DoD photo by EJ Hersom

Cyclists power their way up the final hill on the cycle course during the 2018 Warrior Games. DoD photo by EJ Hersom.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Brant Ireland wins his time trial in the seated recumbent bike division during the 2018 Warrior Games, June 6, 2018. Air Force photo Michael Bottoms.

Air Force Master Sgt. Kenneth Guinn sets the ball during the gold medal sitting volleyball round at the 2018 Warrior Games, June 8, 2018. DoD photo by EJ Hersom

Finally,

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Air Force Capt. Hunter Barnhill meets 9 year old Charli Butler for the first time during the 2018 Warrior Games. Barnhill was diagnosed with brain cancer at age 30, and Charli was diagnosed at 5 weeks old. Air Force photo by Mast Sgt. David Long

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