Still He­roes

Dis­abled Veter­ans Show there are No Lim­its at the In­vic­tus Games

Firepower - - FEATURES - TEXT BY GAR­RETT KIM, WITH DOUG JEF­FREY PHO­TOS BY MICHAEL GAR­CIA

Dur­ing the open­ing cer­e­mony, they walk out with pride and smiles from ear to ear. Some are miss­ing legs, and oth­ers are miss­ing hands or arms—but it doesn’t mat­ter, be­cause these ath­letes and their team­mates are on the verge of bat­tle.

The In­vic­tus Games en­able more than 500 dis­abled veter­ans from var­i­ous branches of the armed forces to com­pete in a num­ber of sport­ing events, in­clud­ing track and field, swim­ming, cy­cling, sit­ting vol­ley­ball, wheel­chair bas­ket­ball and other events.

The com­pe­ti­tion is filled with emo­tion, de­sire, in­ten­sity and glory, all of which you will see in the fol­low­ing pages. But that is not all you will see, be­cause the com­pe­ti­tion is not con­fined to the lane lines or the cy­cling course. Each of these ath­letes has had to over­come the tremen­dous emo­tional chal­lenge of their in­juries. On these fol­low­ing pages, you will see the joy in their ex­pres­sions. You will be in­spired and mes­mer­ized, and you will most cer­tainly see that these vets are still he­roes.

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