The grounds of the U.S. Military at West Point have seen more than their fair share of quality sports action over the years. This Wednesday though West point will host one of its most important events to date as it plays host to the 2016 Warrior Games. The Warrior Games sees around 250 ill and injured service members competing in eight different adaptive sports all competing for a good medal and a personal (or team) victory.
This is the first Warrior Games to be sponsored by the U.S. Army and it is a major event for those planning and those involved. West Point is used to handling sporting events for future service men and women, while this will be a showcase for veterans whose lives have been impacted forever by their time in the military.
“It’s really about these athletes and their families who have overcome so much adversity,” Col. Thomas Sutton, the planning and operations chief for Army Warrior Transition Command, said. “It’s about recognizing these men and women and continuing to build awareness and understanding – bringing into the spotlight their resiliency.”
Adaptive sports, and athletics in general, and massively important to injured troops as they transition back into civilian life. Sports give these service members a shot of confidence and a camaraderie that can be missing from their lives. It also gives a sense of purpose and a goal to achieve that can then be worked on and bettered throughout the rest of their lives.
The opening ceremony will feature a performance by the West Point band and will be emceed by special guest Jon Stewart. The mere presence of Stewart (who volunteered for the event) is a huge deal as it will bring outside interest and publicity to the games. The Army team is the defending Warrior Games champion having won 162 total medals (69 gold) at the Marine Corps sponsored event in Quantico, Va. last year.