JOINT BASE LANGLEY EUSTIS, Va. — Three-time Grammy Award winner and multi-platinum selling artist Darius Rucker will headline the opening ceremony at the 2022 Department of Defense Warrior Games this summer. Hosted by the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, the Warrior Games will take place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Florida, August 19-28.
The Opening Ceremony will take place Friday, Aug. 19, at The Stadium within the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Attendees will hear favorites from Darius’ time with Hootie & the Blowfish, as well as his solo chart-topping hits like “Wagon Wheel.”
The Warrior Games, first held in 2010, celebrates the resiliency and dedication of wounded, ill and injured active-duty and veteran military service members from the U.S. and allied nations. Hundreds of elite athletes will compete in adaptive sporting events such as wheelchair basketball, cycling, indoor rowing, sitting volleyball and others.
The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which hosted the 2016 Invictus Games, as well as other professional and youth sports events, was donated for use to serve as a Warrior Games venue. This 220-acre award-winning facility features multiple indoor and outdoor competition sites and combines the spirit of sports with Disney magic, making it the perfect host venue for this year’s events.
The Warrior Games serve to enhance the recovery and rehabilitation of wounded warriors by providing them exposure to adaptive sports. Military Paralympic-style adaptive sports programs help wounded service members and veterans build strength and endurance and draw inspiration from their teammates. Participation in the Warrior Games represents the culmination of a service member’s involvement in an adaptive sports program and demonstrates the incredible potential of wounded warriors through competitive sports.
About Darius Rucker
Rucker first achieved multi-Platinum status in the music industry as lead singer and rhythm guitarist of the GRAMMY Award-winning band Hootie & the Blowfish, who have sold more than 25 million albums worldwide including their Diamond-certified debut Cracked Rear View, which remains among the Top 10 best-selling studio albums of all time. Since releasing his first Country album in 2008, Rucker has earned a whole new legion of fans with four No. 1 albums on the Billboard Country chart, including RIAA Platinum-certified Learn to Live and True Believers, plus 10 No. 1 singles at Country radio and 11 Gold, Platinum or multi-Platinum certified hits. Rucker was inducted as a Grand Ole Opry member in 2012 and in 2014 he won his third career GRAMMY Award for Best Solo Country Performance with his 9x Platinum version of Old Crow Medicine Show’s “Wagon Wheel,” one of the top five best-selling Country songs of all time. He co-hosted the 54th annual CMA Awards in 2020 and topped the charts at country radio once again with “Beers and Sunshine” in 2021. New songs “My Masterpiece” and “Same Beer Different Problem” are available everywhere now as Rucker puts the finishing touches on a forthcoming album.
As a lifelong philanthropist, Rucker co-chaired the capital campaign that generated $150 million to help build the new MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children's Hospital in his hometown of Charleston, S.C. and has also raised millions of dollars for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital through his annual Darius & Friends benefit concert and golf tournament. Rucker has also advocated for over 200 charitable causes supporting public education and junior golf programs in South Carolina through the Hootie & the Blowfish Foundation and serves as a National Chair for the National Museum of African American Music in Nashville, Tenn.
For more information, visit www.DariusRucker.com.