By Robert A. Whetstone
Brooke Army Medical Center Public Affairs
U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. - Team Army was primed, pumped, and ready to compete on June 1, 2018, until a high wind warning swept through Colorado Springs and the U.S. Air Force Academy outdoor track and field facility and postponed competition before it began. Approximately 300 athletes are here to compete in the 2018 Department of Defense Warrior Games, but the start had to wait one more day.
The DoD Warrior Games is an adaptive sports competition for wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans. Teams representing the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Special Operations Command, United Kingdom Armed Forces, Canadian Armed Forces, and the Australian Defence Force will compete beginning June 2 - 9 in archery, cycling, track, field, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, wheelchair basketball, and - new this year - powerlifting and indoor rowing.
From a physical standpoint, the postponement until June 2, didn't seem to deter the athletes' eagerness to compete. "Physically, the wind warning didn't affect me, but mentally, I took my self out of it," said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. and Team Army Captain Dorian Rhoten. "No matter what, you're supposed to be prepared, but I was so 'ready' yesterday, and I should have brought that same mental attitude today."
At each event, athletes from every team were fired up and antsy to get started. Team Army was throwing the discus with abandon, and at the same time, cheering on their competition when they did well. "I was told I had the farthest throw (discus) today, but when I looked over at the referee and saw him raise that red flag, I knew I had fouled and it wouldn't count," said U.S. Army Sgt. Samuel Daniels.
The Warrior Games Hype Squad worked their way in and out of the crowd, making sure family members made plenty of noise. At the same time, Team Australia was making fast friends with everyone they came in contact with.
The weather was a stark contrast to the day before when high winds kicked up dust particles and flung it hard enough to sting unprotected skin. The wind barely blew today, and it seemed as if the plush, green grass was waiting for warriors to stamp their name into it.
The quick changes in the weather is enough to frustrate any athlete. "Today I brought my anger for winning, and to throw for Army," said Rhoten. "I shouldn't have done that. Once I got back to having fun thanks to my teammates - Team Army, that's how we (Rhoten) brought back the bronze medal in discus."
For results of the field events, go to https://dodwarriorgames.com/games-results/2018-results/