Local

‘All in this together’: Warrior Games kicks off celebration of veterans’ resiliency

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The opening ceremony for the Warrior Games at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports at Walt Disney World Resort kicks off Friday night.

>>> STREAM CHANNEL 9 EYEWITNESS NEWS LIVE <<<

Nearly 300 athletes representing the U.S. military and ally nations such as Canada and Ukraine will compete.

The Warrior Games are meant to celebrate the resiliency of active-duty and veteran U.S. military service members who are ill, injured or wounded.

Some wounds are visible; others are not.

READ: Warrior Games to host hundreds of wounded, injured veterans for week of sports competitions

Athlete Jarrett Cooper said he has a back injury from “overuse” after he spent more than 20 years in the navy. He’s participating in four events.

“It’s a busy schedule, but it gets your mind off the negative,” Cooper said. “We are all in this together.”

Athletes compete in adaptive sporting events such as wheelchair basketball, indoor rowing, wheelchair rugby, sitting volleyball and more.

READ: Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party returns: Here are 9 things to know

Kenneth Brown will be competing in cycling. He was injured during a deployment in Iraq. He’s had a knee replacement and three surgeries on his spine. He couldn’t be more proud to participate in the Warrior Games.

“To be here and compete is everything,” Brown said.

READ: Change in title with men working at Disney dress-up shops

Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.

Q Mccray

Q McCray, WFTV.com

Q McCray is an award-winning general assignment reporter.

Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.