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Annual DoD Warrior Games canceled amid COVID concerns

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Kevin Greene, Team Air Force, and Australian Army veteran Private Rye Shawcroft, Team Australia, hustle for a ball during the 2019 DoD Warrior Games wheelchair basketball tournament in the Tampa Convention Center, June 25, 2019. The Warrior Games were established in 2010 as a way to enhance the recovery and rehabilitation of wounded, ill and injured service members and expose them to adaptive sports. Approximately 300 athletes are participating in 13 adaptive sport competitions June 21-30. The athletes represent the United States Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Special Operations Command. Athletes from the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, and Denmark will also compete. (DoD photo by Staff Sgt. Vito T. Bryant)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Kevin Greene, Team Air Force, and Australian Army veteran Private Rye Shawcroft, Team Australia, hustle for a ball during the 2019 DoD Warrior Games wheelchair basketball tournament in the Tampa Convention Center, June 25, 2019. The Warrior Games were established in 2010 as a way to enhance the recovery and rehabilitation of wounded, ill and injured service members and expose them to adaptive sports. Approximately 300 athletes are participating in 13 adaptive sport competitions June 21-30. The athletes represent the United States Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Special Operations Command. Athletes from the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, and Denmark will also compete. (DoD photo by Staff Sgt. Vito T. Bryant)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein and Tech Sgt. Roann R. Leatz, Team Air Force athlete, pose for a photo at the 2019 Department of Defense Warrior Games at Tampa, Fla, June 28, 2019. Warrior Games athletes have overcome significant physical and psychological challenges, not always visible to others and have demonstrated that life continues after becoming wounded, ill or injured. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech Sgt. Lionel Castellano)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein and Tech Sgt. Roann R. Leatz, Team Air Force athlete, pose for a photo at the 2019 Department of Defense Warrior Games at Tampa, Fla, June 28, 2019. Warrior Games athletes have overcome significant physical and psychological challenges, not always visible to others and have demonstrated that life continues after becoming wounded, ill or injured. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech Sgt. Lionel Castellano)

San Antonio, Tex. --

As the U.S. continues to navigate the challenges posed by the COVID-19 global pandemic, the U.S. Marine Corps and City of San Antonio leadership remain committed to the safety and health of our service members and local communities.

As the lead planners for the 2020 Warrior Games, the Marine Corps announced the decision to cancel the Games, citing the paramount concerns for the health and well-being of the 300 U.S. military active-duty and veteran athletes, international military teams, and residents within the greater San Antonio area.   

The Games, originally scheduled to occur across multiple sporting venues in San Antonio Sept. 20-28, would have marked the 10th anniversary of the annual competition of wounded, ill and injured service member athletes in 12 adaptive sports. The Marine Corps was selected to host the 2020 Games on behalf of the DoD. International participants originally scheduled to attend included wounded, ill and injured athletes from the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Denmark and the Netherlands.

“While the Warrior Games is truly an amazing event for our recovering service members, our top priority has always been their journeys to recovery,” said Col. Richard Pitchford, commanding officer of the Marine Corps’ Wounded Warrior Regiment. “After careful consideration for all parties involved, canceling this year’s Games is the best option to ensure our athletes and their supporters remain healthy and safe during these times.”

The DoD Warrior Games are a part of the larger DoD Warrior Care program. Within this program, a multitude of resources outside of adaptive sports are provided to support service members throughout the recovery and transition process. 

“Adaptive sports, while one of the many resources within the Warrior Care program, does play a large role in the recovery of our service members,” said Maj. Leslie Harkness, operations officer of the Marine Corps’ WWR and lead planner for the 2020 Warrior Games. “The entire warrior care community is disappointed we cannot provide this specific opportunity for so many men and women who look forward to it every year. We will, however, continue to offer every other resource we can safely provide.”

For more information on the Warrior Games, please contact warriorgamespao@gmail.com. For more information about the Warrior Care Program and the resources they provide, please contact osd.warriorcare@mail.mil.