Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Peterson Space Observer

Warrior Games open Saturday at USAFA

(U.S. Air Force photo/John Van Winkle)
Master Sgt. Simon Wess practices his serve during sitting volleyball, one of seven events that the Air Force Warrior Games team practiced for the week of April 15-19 in preparation for the 2013 Warrior Games. Wess is assigned to the 7th Civil Engineer Squadron at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. The Warrior Games is scheduled to take place May 11-16 at the Air Force Academy and U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.

By Airman 1st Class Veronica Ward

U.S. Air Force Academy Public Affairs Office

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — The Warrior Games, scheduled May 11-16 at the U.S. Air Force Academy and U.S. Olympic Training Center, are a sport competition for sick and injured service members and veterans.

This year marks the largest number of wounded warriors the Air Force team has participating in the games, said assistant head coach Cami Stock.

Teams will compete in cycling, shooting, sitting-volleyball, swimming, archery, wheelchair volleyball and track and field.

Two Airmen from Team Pete, Maj. Scott Bullis, Air Force Space Command, and Chief Master Sgt. Martin Smith, 380th Space Control Squadron, are competing in the games.

Bullis is coaching cycling athletes, and will compete in shooting and cycling. Smith is entered in three individual swimming events and a swimming relay.

Team members come from all over the states with different injuries and limitations, said Marsha Gonzales, deputy chief of the Warrior and Survivor Care Division at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas. They also have a recovery team on hand for each member participating in the Warrior Games.

Coaches and athletes have been in communication with each other since January’s selection camp, said Maj. Jonathan Mason, Warrior Games cycling coach.

“For the cycling team, selection camp was a time to make bike selections based on injuries and classification,” Mason said. “Since then, the athletes have received nutrition and cycling information, and have been riding 20-30 miles at a time, three times a week. We want to prepare them for a longer ride than the actual race in practice.”

Athletes have also been given information on strength training, Stock said.

Competitions are open to the public, but opening and closing ceremonies are by invitation only.

For schedule information, visit the Warrior Games website at http://www.teamusa.org/US-Paralympics/Military/Warrior-Games-presented-by-Deloitte/Competition-Schedules.aspx.

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