Chairman’s Corner: Let the Warrior Games Begin!

WASHINGTON, Sept. 21, 2010 — Yes­ter­day, I was delight­ed to be able to announce the dates for the Sec­ond Annu­al War­rior Games, to be held in Col­orado Springs, Colo., May 16–21, 2011.

The War­rior Games is a joint effort between the U.S. Olympic Com­mit­tee and the Defense Depart­ment and serves as a focal event to empow­er the incor­po­ra­tion of ath­let­ics into mil­i­tary wound­ed war­rior pro­grams. The games are also an intro­duc­tion to par­a­lympic sports for injured ser­vice mem­bers by inspir­ing recov­ery, phys­i­cal fit­ness, and pro­mot­ing new oppor­tu­ni­ties for growth and achieve­ment.

Last year’s inau­gur­al games drew 200 mil­i­tary ath­letes com­pet­ing in nine dif­fer­ent sports. And we look for­ward to an even bet­ter turnout next spring. In fact, I encour­age all wound­ed war­riors with a desire to com­pete to noti­fy their own squad lead­ers, NCOs or lead­ing pet­ty offi­cers to get the appli­ca­tion process start­ed right away.

The ath­letes who com­pete in the War­rior Games demon­strate that regard­less of cir­cum­stance, phys­i­cal fit­ness and a pas­sion to win remain at the core of our mil­i­tary cul­ture. And while these val­ues are cer­tain­ly impor­tant on the bat­tle­field, they’re also impor­tant to the recov­ery process of our wound­ed, ill and injured troops; because when we focus on abil­i­ties rather than dis­abil­i­ties, we see that phys­i­cal fit­ness and sports can have a heal­ing effect on the mind, on the body and on the soul.

This applies to our fam­i­lies as well, who not only cheer their war­riors to vic­to­ry, but also sup­port them through­out the dif­fi­cult process of recov­ery and recu­per­a­tion. Many of these loved ones tell us that the sense of hope and accom­plish­ment the War­rior Games engen­der pos­i­tive­ly impacts their roles as spous­es and as par­ents.

So, I cer­tain­ly thank the Olympic Com­mit­tee and their ter­rif­ic vol­un­teers for help­ing us cre­ate an are­na for these excep­tion­al young Amer­i­cans to com­pete, heal and grow. And I wish all the war­riors com­pet­ing next May the very best of luck.

Once again, for those inter­est­ed in com­pet­ing — let your chain of com­mand know today!

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

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