In Warrior Games field competition, lessons on perseverance

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After taking the July 4 holiday off, the Warrior Games are back on track. Wednesday Soldier Field hosted a field competition. (WLS)

After taking the July 4 holiday off, the Warrior Games are back on track. Wednesday Soldier Field hosted a field competition.

Though the athletes involved are fierce competitors, as the Warrior Games continue it has come clear that this week of competition is about far more than winning.

The field athletes make it sound so easy. It is not. While they may be able to teach an average person the basics of throwing a shot put or a discus, an average person is not dealing with the realities of what these warriors have faced.

"Thirteen deployments. I've been combat wounded three times," said Terry "Mac" McElwin, Marine Infantry Officer.

"I had back surgery and I woke up and I could not feel my leg. And it kind of just changed my life. I got really down on myself, because I was an athlete. And I was like, my life's over," said Mike Sousa Docarmo, Lance Corporal Marines.

For Mike and Mac, training and competing in the Warrior Games has been the answer.

"The process is very therapeutic and then the motivation and inspiration I get from these young lads and lasses, that actually helps out a lot and it inspire me," McElwin said.

"I just started training, And my coaches, my great coaches, they just kept showing me all these adaptive sports. It was like, ok, my life isn't over. I can still compete at a high level," Sousa Docarmo said.

"We never train to lose, we always train to win. So once you, once you make a career change or you're not doing your job anymore, then it becomes-there's a lull. And then you find something that can provide that competition and you're winning again, even just getting here is winning," McElwin said.

Both can now call themselves two-time gold medalists - both Mac and Mike won in shot put and discus in their respective classes.

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Some of the athletes competing in the Department of Defense Warrior Games described the experience as therapeutic.



The Warrior Games continue through Friday, when they move to the United Center for several gold medal matches and a celebrity wheelchair basketball game.

CLICK HERE to get tickets.

CLICK HERE to see the full schedule.

CLICK HERE for more information about the 2017 DoD Warrior Games.

Related Topics:
sportswarrior gamesmilitarycompetitionmarinessoldier fieldChicagoMuseum Campus
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