COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- This week marked the first session of the All-Marine Warrior Games team two-week training camp. The camp will prepare the athletes for the fourth annual Warrior Games that will be held at the Olympic Training Center and Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., May 10-16.
To start the week off right, the Veterans of Foreign Wars hosted a dinner for the athletes, their families and staff.
“The Colorado Springs and Fort Carson community really showed us a warm welcome,” said Jennifer Sullivan, the Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment’s Warrior Athlete Reconditioning program coordinator. “This is just one example of the support the community has shown us since we arrived.”
For the duration of the week the All-Marine team used facilities in the area such as the Cheyenne Mountain High School and Fort Carson to train in swimming, track and field, volleyball, wheelchair basketball, cycling, shooting and archery.
For athletes such as Capt. Derek Liu, it was their first time in Colorado — the scenic backdrops and motivation from his fellow Marines really made the trip worth while. “It is good to see all the Marines out here adapting and progressing,” said Liu, All-Marine team athlete.
Liu was injured in 2007 during a run while he was training. “Even though I went to Iraq, I came back fine,” said Liu. “Seven to eight months after my deployment I was in Hawaii and I suffered a cardiac arrest. I emerged from a coma after 58 days.”
Liu has remained on active duty six years after his injury. “I did not understand how this could happen to me because I was in good shape. I just ran the Marine Corps marathon,” said Liu. “I am not combat injured but this event has helped me get active again.”
“It is events like the Warrior Games that help combat and non-combat injured Marines increase their strength so they can continue with military service or develop healthy habits for life outside the service,” said Sullivan. “We are extremely grateful to the Colorado community for hosting this event for the fourth year.”
Liu and the other 49 athletes are also thankful for the opportunity to acclimate to the area before the start of the Games. The Marines will continue to train hard for the remaining week and are looking forward to defending their first place title against the Army, Navy /Coast Guard, Air Force and SOCOM.