By Petty Officer 2nd Class William Selby
The 2010 inaugural Warrior Games will begin tomorrow, but the opening ceremonies tonight started things off with an impact that will be hard to follow.
(See Warrior Games schedule of events.)
The ceremony began with the 4th Infantry Division Mounted Color Guard from Fort Carson, Colo., marching each services’ flag down the Irwin “Ike” Belk Olympic Path. This march, along with the regal music played by the Ivy Division Band, set the tone for the ceremony.
Following that, the crowd opened up with cheers as each services team members walked down Olympic Path and set up in front of the podium.
One of the momentous periods of the opening ceremony was during the torch relay as a representative from each service marched down the Olympic path. All of the services presented the torch together to NFL Hall of Famer, and Naval Academy graduate Roger Staubach, who ran the torch up the steps to light the Olympic flame cauldron.
After the cauldron was lit, Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, The Honorable Juan M. Garcia, III, Brig. Gen. Gary Cheek, Commanding General, Warrior Transition Command and U.S. Air Force Gen. Victor Renuart, Commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. spoke to the competitors and thanked them for both their service and participation in this year’s games.
The best part of the event was when I was able to talk to one of the athletes after the opening ceremonies concluded.
U.S. Army Sgt. Robert Laux, currently stationed at Walter Reed Army Medical Center expounded on being at Warrior Games this year. “Words cannot describe how good this feels.”
Laux is competing in the Ultimate Champion competition. He added, “It’s not about each of us against each other, it’s about coming together to compete; it’s all about the U.S.A.”
I’m absolutely amazed every single time I’m around these warriors and fellow servicemembers. Despite the fact that most people in their shoes would throw in the towel, these brave men and women strive forward and stay completely positive.
Renuart, Commander said it best. “Whether they win or lose an event they will be striving to compete and that’s what it’s all about.”
Video: Secretary of Defense Robert Gates thanks the 2010 Warrior Games’ athletes for serving as role models.