25 photos showing why The Warrior Games is the world's most inspiring competition

Since 2010, The Warrior Games has allowed wounded warriors from each military branch to compete in Olympic style games each year. This year’s games are being held at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va. from June 19-28. By utilizing the therapeutic power of sports, the games enable wounded, ill, and injured service members to showcase their athletic abilities.

Here are 25 photos that show why this event is one of the most inspiring in the world.

1. The Warrior Games are attended by senior government and military leadership such as former Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta (center) and Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Raymond T. Odierno. 

warrior games, wounded warriors

Photo: Army Staff Sgt. Teddy Wade

2. There is an elaborate opening ceremony complete with the lighting of the cauldron to mark the beginning of the games.

Photo: Air Force Tech. Sgt. Heather Kelly

Photo: Air Force Tech. Sgt. Heather Kelly

3. Warrior athletes make up 6 teams including Army …

Photo: U.S. Army

Photo: U.S. Army

4. Air Force,

Photo: U.S. Air Force

Photo: U.S. Air Force

5. Marine Corps,
Marines

6. Navy / Coast Guard,

Photo: Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Katherine Hofman

Photo: Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Katherine Hofman

7. Special Operations Command (SOCOM),

warrior games, wounded warriors, socom

Photo: U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Devon Suits

8. And British Armed Forces.

Photo: U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Jonathan K. Reitzel

Photo: U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Jonathan K. Reitzel

9. The crowd is packed with family, friends, and caregivers of the competitors.

warrior games, wounded warriors

Photo: Marine Corps Cpl. Jonathan K. Reitzel

10. You are literally watching the recovery and rehabilitation of wounded warriors taking place.

warrior games, wounded warriors

11. It’s also chance to see the long standing rivalry between military services.

Photo: Marine Corps

Photo: Marine Corps

12. Events include archery …

warrior games, wounded warriors

Photo: U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Carson Gramley

13. Wheelchair Basketball,

Photo: U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault

Photo: U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault

14. And Cycling.

Army Lt. Col. Danny Dudek competes in the Mixed 100m Dash Wheelchair track event during the 2012 Warrior Games at the U.S. Air Force Academy May 4, 2012. Dudek, from Wilmington, N.C., remained in the active duty Army since suffering a combat injury that left him without the use of his legs below the knees. He placed seventh in the event.

Photo: US Army

15. Then there are Field events such as seated shot put, standing shot put, seated discus, and standing discus.

Photo: U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Justyn M. Freeman

Photo: U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Justyn M. Freeman

16. There’s track and field …

warrior games, wounded warriors, sports

Photo: Jennifer Spradlin

17. Shooting,

Photo: Navy Lt. Michael Fallon

Photo: Navy Lt. Michael Fallon

18. Sitting Volleyball,

warrior games, wounded warriors

Photo: U.S. Marine Corps

19. Swimming,

Photo: U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Kaily Brown

Photo: U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Kaily Brown

20. And Wheelchair Rugby.

Photo: Joshua Sheppard

Photo: Joshua Sheppard

21. There’s even exhibition games that dignitaries and Olympic champions will play in, like Prince Harry of Wales and 3 time Olympic gold medalist Misty May Treanor.

warrior games, prince harry, misty may treanor

Photo: Tyler Main

22. Beautiful medals are awarded to competitors.

2013 Warrior Games gold medals are on display to motivate the athletes as they compete in track and field, May 14. From May 11-16, more than 200 wounded, ill and injured servicemembers and veterans from the U.S. Marines, Army, Air Force and Navy, as well as a team representing U.S. Special Operations Command and an international team representing the United Kingdom, will compete for the gold in track and field, shooting, swimming, cycling, archery, wheelchair basketball and sitting volleyball at the U.S. Olympic Training Center and U.S. Air Force Academy. The military service with the most medals will win the Chairman's Cup.

23. Individual competitors can rack up medals.

LenAnder

24. And the team with the overall best performance is awarded the ‘Chairman’s Cup.’

Photo: Army Staff Sgt. Sean K. Harp

Photo: Army Staff Sgt. Sean K. Harp

25. No matter what the result, there is a powerful spirit of camaraderie.

Photo: U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Justyn M. Freeman

Photo: U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Justyn M. Freeman

To learn more about the games, visit the Warrior Games website here.

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