Athletes compete in Paralympics Warrior Sports Series
September 30, 2010
By Lori Newman
FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- Warriors battled it out during the U.S. Paralympics Warrior Sports Series held Sept. 24-25 at the Jimmy Brought Fitness Center.
Teams from Brooke Army Medical Center Warrior Transition Battalion, the Center for the Intrepid, Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. and Naval Medical Center San Diego competed in wheelchair basketball and sitting volleyball.
The U.S. Olympic Committee Paralympic Military Program provides post-rehabilitation support and mentoring to service members who have sustained physical injuries such as traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, amputation, visual impairment/blindness and stroke, according to the U.S. Paralympics website.
Service members are introduced to adaptive sports techniques and opportunities through clinics and camps and are also connected with ongoing Paralympic sports programs in their hometowns.
Spc. Kevin Mullen travelled with his team from WRMC. This was his first Paralympics competition.
"I got into Paralympic sports at a sit-down volleyball camp I went to and I have been playing ever since," Mullen said. "I really do love the sport."
"It's a great way for me to showcase that even though I'm injured, I'm not down. I still have the same abilities as regular people do, I just have to do things in my special way and I'm ok with that," Mullen said.
"You come here and you see people who are worse off than you are and it makes you feel like there is no reason to be down. You have to keep fighting," said Staff Sgt. Paul Roberts from BAMC.
"Whoever wins this series will receive a trophy and that trophy will travel to the next event," said Rico Roman, a wounded warrior who works for the U.S. Paralympics Organization.
"CFI took the sitting volleyball championship and WRMC won the wheelchair basketball championship, but the CFI team took the overall championship," said Wendy Gumbert, from the USOC Paralympic Military Program.
The next U.S. Paralympics Warrior Sports Series will be held at NMCSD in February.