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The 2013 Warrior Games: More Than a Competition

Ronald David
Texas Women's University
Michelle Enos
Texas Women's University
Lauren Jordan
Texas Women's University
Jonna Belanger
Texas Women's University

Abstract

In May of 2013, over 200 wounded, ill, and injured veterans (warriors) assembled in Colorado Springs to compete in the 3rd annual Wounded Warrior Games; those attending were not disappointed. Warriors from the U.S. Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Coast Guard, and Special Operations along with over 50 members from the United Kingdom competed during the 4 day event in 7 events. Warrior Games, organized and conducted by U.S. Paralympics featured the sports of archery, athletics, cycling, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, and wheelchair basketball. Competitors represented the following categories: Lower Body (spinal cord injury, stroke, cerebral palsy); Upper Body (amputee, stroke, cerebral palsy); Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); Stroke (hemiplegic gait); and Visual Impairment (acuity greater than 20/200 and less than 200 degrees of field of vision).The Warrior Games were created in 2010 as an introduction to Paralympic sports with the global purpose of supporting growth in Warrior Transition Units (WTUs) that assist transition to civilian life. Sports participation rates at WTUs have increased from 31% to 54% since 2010. The Warrior Games can also provide experiential learning for students studying in the area of Adapted Physical Education and Adapted Activity (APE/APA). Professionals directing APE/APA preparation programs should consider having students volunteer, conduct research, or help facilitate competition venues. In addition to providing competition, the Warrior Games are about improving life after injury and making adjustments back into society. As professionals in the area of physical activity and sports for persons with disabilities, we need to consider serving those who have served; get involved and get your students involved.

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