Marines ready to defend Warrior Games championship in Colorado Springs
By JOE PAISLEY | The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.) | Published: May 11, 2013
COLORADO SPRINGS --- Sure, the whole point of the Warrior Games is to speed the physical and emotional recovery of the 260 participants.
But then the competitive juices of the wounded, ill, and injured servicemen and women start flowing.
'I love the competition, ' Marines track athlete Sgt. Gabriel Martinez of Golden said. 'It really pushes me to work harder. '
If the will to win didn't come from within, it would from his teammates.
The Marines are three-time defending team champions and winners of the Chairman's Cup for topping the annual medals table. In 2012, the Marines took home 89 medals (gold, silver and bronze) followed by the Army with 63, the Navy/Coast Guard combined squad with 30, Air Force 17 and Special Ops Command 10.
'No one wants to be on the team that doesn't win it, ' Marines track assistant coach Sgt. Michael Pride said.
'Absolutely, ' Marine Cpl. Kyle Reid said. 'We're all pretty excited about defending the Cup. '
This year, a combined British team will compete for the first time after taking part as exhibition (non-scoring) athletes last spring.
The annual event lasting Saturday to Thursday picked up additional media buzz when it was announced that British Prince Harry, 28, who served in the army in Afghanistan, will be on hand for Saturday's invitation-only opening ceremony at the Olympic Training Center courtyard and Sunday's cycling competition, which is free and open to the public, at Air Force Academy's Falcon Stadium.
Harry, 28, is the youngest son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana. He is regarded as one of the world's most eligible bachelors. He is third in line to the throne, behind Charles and older brother Prince William.
The teams compete in seven sports -- archery, cycling, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, track and field, and wheelchair basketball.
WARRIOR GAMES SCHEDULE
All competition free, open to public
Air Force Academy, U.S. Olympic Training Center
Opening ceremony, 12:45 to 2 p.m., OTC courtyard (invitation only)
Cycling, 12:30 to 4:30 p.m., Falcon Stadium (North gate closes at 11:30 a.m.)
Wheelchair basketball, 6-7:30 p.m., OTC Sports Center 1
Sitting volleyball, 8-10 p.m., OTC Sports Center 1 and 2
Shooting, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., OTC range
Wheelchair basketball, 5:30-7 p.m., OTC Sports Center 1
Sitting volleyball, 7:30-9:30 p.m., OTC Sports Center 1 and 2
Track and Field, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Air Force track
Wheelchair basketball, 5-6:30 p.m., Cadet Gym/Clune Arena
Sitting volleyball, 7-9 p.m., Cadet Gym/Clune Arena
Archery, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Wheelchair basketball, 4:30-6 p.m. (bronze-medal match); 8:30-10 p.m. (gold), both Clune Arena
Sitting volleyball, 6:30-8 p.m. (bronze), Cadet Gym East; 6:30-8 (gold), Clune Arena
Swimming, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Air Force pool
Closing ceremony, 6-7:30 p.m., Air Force indoor track, Clune Arena (invitation only)