NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – More than 60 wounded warriors from across the country are in Norfolk this week.
They are competing with each other in the Wounded Warrior Games Track and Field Trials at Norfolk State University’s Dick Price stadium to qualify for the 2014 Warrior Games. This is the first time the trials have been held in Norfolk.
Amputee Red Ramos runs the 100 meter heat.
“I got 14:03, but it’ll be faster, don’t you worry,” Ramos said with a laugh.
Ramos was in the Marines when he was injured in Afghanistan back in 2011.
“I stepped on an IED and got out with a paper cut and just a single below the knee amputee,” he said. “Most people had it much worse, so I’m the luckiest man alive.”
From these trials, 40 athletes will be selected to compete for national honors, but the aim is simply this: “Get out, get moving and get around,” according to Lt. Justin Short with the Navy’s Wounded Warrior Program.
“People who’ve experienced the same things, they have to get them to boost morale because a lot of people get really depressed and things when they’re battling injuries like that,” Short said.
Ramos said events like Wounded Warrior Games have helped him.
“It really does motivate you, not just you doing the events. It’s you seeing what people that are injured much worse than you are and they’re killing it more than you can ever imagine, and that’s what really motivates me and most of the people here,” Ramos said.
Wounded warriors who qualify this week will go on to compete in the upcoming Warrior Games in Colorado in September. At the national event, “more than 200 wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans will participate in seven sports: archery, cycling, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, track and field and wheelchair basketball.
The athletes represent Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Special Operations.