<strong>Exclusive live coverage by <em>The O&P EDGE<\/em><\/strong>\r\n<div>\r\n\r\n[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="350"]<img src="https:\/\/opedge.com\/Content\/OldArticles\/images\/2013-07\/2013-07_14-1.jpg" alt="" width="350" height="192" \/> From left, Franklin, Snyder, and Prince Harry prepare to light the torch to begin the 2013 Warrior Games at the U.S. Olympic Training Center. Photograph by E. J. Hersom, courtesy of the U.S. Navy.[\/caption]\r\n\r\n<\/div>\r\nAbout 230 wounded or ill U.S. service members and veterans pulled on their respective team jerseys\u2014Air Force, Army, Navy\/Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Special Operations Command (SOCOM)\u2014to compete in the 2013 Warrior Games, May 11-16, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Joining them for the second year in a row were 35 soldiers from the British Armed Forces. Presented by Deloitte and hosted by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), participants travelled from across the country and across the Atlantic to compete in archery, cycling, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, track and field, and wheelchair basketball.\r\n\r\nThe Games started with an opening ceremony on May 11, the highlight of which was the torch relay and lighting. The torch was passed hand to hand to a representative from each branch of the U.S. armed services, and then to British Armed Forces Captain Dave Henson. Henson passed the torch to Prince Henry "Harry" of Wales who, in cooperation with Olympian Missy Franklin, assisted honorary torchbearer Navy Lt. Bradley Snyder in lighting the cauldron. Snyder was blinded by an improvised explosive device (IED) while serving in Afghanistan in 2011; he competed in swimming and track at the 2012 Warrior Games and in swimming at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, where he won two gold medals and one silver medal.\r\n<div>\r\n\r\n[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="250"]<img src="https:\/\/opedge.com\/Content\/OldArticles\/images\/2013-07\/2013-07_14-2.jpg" alt="" width="250" height="302" \/> Marine Private 1st Class Artem Lazukin relays the official torch to begin the 2013 Warrior Games. Photograph by Laura Fonda Hochnadel.[\/caption]\r\n\r\n<\/div>\r\n"You warriors are here because of your willingness to overcome great challenges, the challenges of illness and injury, both seen and unseen, coupled with the challenges that any superior athlete must overcome in achieving greatness," said Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Navy Adm. James A. Winnefeld Jr., during the opening ceremony. "Your heroism and determination are an inspiration."\r\n\r\nMarine Corporal Ivan Sears, 23, from San Antonio, Texas, is one such hero. He sustained bilateral transfemoral amputations, among other injuries, from an IED in Afghanistan in 2010. He came to Colorado a month early to train for competition in wheelchair racing and handcycling. Sears took second in the men's 100m and 200m wheelchair racing finals, and beat four competitors to snag a gold medal in the men's 1,500m wheelchair race. He also placed fourth out of 17 in the men's handcycle race. He said that participating in the Warrior Games helped shift his focus from his injuries to the competition. "My goal is to get into the Paralympics," he said.\r\n<div>\r\n\r\n[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="300"]<img src="https:\/\/opedge.com\/Content\/OldArticles\/images\/2013-07\/2013-07_14-3.jpg" alt="" width="300" height="208" \/> Army Spc. Elizabeth Wasil wins the gold medal in the 1,500m wheelchair race. Photograph by E. J. Hersom, courtesy of the U.S. Department of Defense.[\/caption]\r\n\r\n<\/div>\r\nFor the fourth year in a row\u2014the span of the Games' history\u2014the Marines claimed the Chairman's Cup. The Chairman's Cup is awarded to the top performing U.S. service branch based on points awarded for top finishes in each event or sport and calculated using a weighted average to compensate for different team sizes across branches. The Marines earned 100 points. The Army finished second with 85 points, while the Navy\/Coast Guard finished third, the Air Force fourth, and SOCOM took fifth. Air Force Captain Mitchell Kieffer, Newport News, Virginia, earned the Ultimate Champion trophy for the pentathlon-style event that pits warriors, both men and women, against each other in cycling, shot put, 10m prone air rifle shooting, 50m freestyle swimming, and the 100m sprint. This was the first Warrior Games for Kieffer, who suffers from a traumatic brain injury and compression fractures in his back from injuries sustained in Iraq when the convoy he was traveling in was attacked.\r\n\r\nCharlie Huebner, chief of Paralympics for the USOC, summed up the 2013 Warrior Games best when he said, "This week started with a Missy, a Brad, a torch, and a prince. It ends with champions."\r\n\r\nDates for the 2014 Warrior Games have not been set.