This Friday, the 2019 Department of Defense’s Warrior Games kicks off right here in Tampa. This Olympic-style competition will see more than 300 wounded warriors from across the military branches compete in 14 different adaptive sports, like swimming, power-lifting and cycling.
Massive economic impact
This the ninth year of the Warrior Games and Tampa is a perfect location for this event as Hillsborough County has the largest veteran population in Florida. According to reporting in the Tampa Bay Times, the Warrior Games had an economic impact of nearly $5 million.
Every veteran competing has generally come into the competition by finding that physical activity and exercise created a lasting impact on their mental health and recovery, and many visitors show up to support their heroic effort and be inspired.
What to know before you go
“When they see the injured service members still competing and still racing, look at them for what they’re doing and not the position they’re in,” Army Master Sgt. George Vera, a Team SOCOM member (a team that happens to be based out of MacDill Air Force Base), told the Tampa Bay Times.
If you are planning on going and catching these warriors in action, here is what you should know. Opening and closing ceremonies take place at Amalie Arena with Jon Stewart emceeing Saturday night from 7p to 9pm with tickets going for $15. The rest of the events are free and spread out across the Tampa area between USF, the Convention center, Bayshore Boulevard,the Long Aquatic Center and MacDill Air Force Base (which are not open to the public)