ORLANDO, Fla. – Hundreds of service members, families and international travelers have descended on the Walt Disney area to compete in the 2022 Warrior Games.
Crowds of families were at the Coronado Springs Convention Center making posters to support athletes, who will compete in the series of events being held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
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Athletes from all military branches, including some international nations like Canada and Ukraine, are set to compete in various sporting events.
Each athlete is a wounded warrior, looking to win big and take home the gold.
News 6 caught up with one mother, Christine Lucier, who said she is rooting for her boyfriend, Tim Williams. She told News 6 he is competing in cycling, track, archery and swimming.
Both served in the Air Force before being medically discharged.
Lucier says she competed back in 2019 and won four gold medals herself in track and cycling, but she is now here to show support.
“We just kind of just keep each other going. We’re motivated,” Lucier said.
Lucier had help making it to the games from the Fisher House, which sponsors all athletes’ families.
They told News 6 that it’s important for families to be present during these games.
“Being here is a chance for them to celebrate their loved one’s recovery and that long road that they’ve been on,” said Ken Fisher, chairman and CEO of the Fisher House Foundation. “They’re not wounded warriors anymore. Now, they’re athletes. They’re not family of wounded warriors — they’re spectators.”
Another competitor, Corey Remsburg, hopes to do his best and compete in the indoor rowing event next Monday.
He served in the Army’s Special Forces and is now blind in his right eye and paralyzed on the left side of his body after being hit by an explosive device during a deployment.
“He doesn’t give up, and he refuses to be defined by his injuries,” said Craig Remsburg, Corey’s father.
While these games are competitive, all athletes said in the end that it’s about being around family.
“When you get out of the military, you get this sense of, like, you are alone and nobody understands you, but when we come here, we kind of all come together and support each other,” Lucier said.
The Warrior Games kick off Friday night with its opening ceremony and continue until Aug. 28.
If you wish to watch any of the events live or wish to see when you can catch one in person, click here for more information.
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