ARLINGTON, Va. — Retired Capt. Anthony Storey was one of the Team Army athletes slated to compete in the 2020 Department of Defense Warrior Games before the COVID-19 pandemic caused their cancellation. He’s earned another opportunity to compete this September in Orlando, Florida and is hard at work training for multiple events.
Storey is an Army veteran who medically retired from the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Soldier Recovery Unit, Washington. He will compete in wheelchair rugby, sitting volleyball, wheelchair basketball, track, field, powerlifting and swimming. Of all the events, his favorite is shotput.
He trains every morning and afternoon and is on teams within his community. His performance surprised him at first and then he realized that with the right techniques and corrective movements, he could push his body much further than once thought.
For Storey, training can be challenging when managing schedules and practicing self-accountability, but there are aspects to look forward to as well. He said the best thing about Warrior Games is that it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be around coaches and athletes who experienced so much and rebounded.
“It’s heartwarming and motivating at the same time,” he said.
Storey believes that this experience is making him more well-rounded.
“It challenges you — in my opinion — on a physical, emotional, mental and even spiritual level,” he said.
Storey provided examples, such as the physical rigor needed to perform at this level and the emotional challenge of having setbacks that result in “make-or-break” reactions. He said that mental focus is required to excel, while spiritually the journey of self-recovery blends with hope.
For him, Warrior Games is as challenging as it is humbling. He said that it’s rather competitive and the chance to compete alongside high-caliber athletes is special.
It has also helped him realize something about himself.
“Being able to set milestones and goals and then achieve them through this has really opened my eyes back up to I’m only really as disabled as I choose to be,” Storey said. “I can do anything with some scaling and adaptations.”