The DoD Warrior Games are nearly upon us, so what better way to celebrate the annual competition that pits 300 wounded, ill and injured service men and women against each other in 11 sports than by highlighting two of its participants?
Thanks to Dove Men+Care Deodorant, which is sponsoring the competition, we’re able to get to know former National Guard Tech Sergeant (Retired) Russell Logan and wheelchair basketball coach Lee Montgomery much better.
Logan, a first-year Warrior Games athlete who will compete in cycling, archery and track & field, lost his left leg while serving overseas, and subsequently lost his self-confidence. Then, when the prospect of competing in the Warrior Games came up, his spirit was brought back to life.
“Competing in the Warrior Games is an honor. It’s a motivator to strive for excellence and prove myself; to overcome that adversity I’ve endured,” he said in this video that will play during the opening ceremony.
When not training, the father of three is now the Chief of Information Protection at the 164th Airlift Wing within the Tennessee Air National Guard.
Lee Montgomery, a three-time competition manager of Wheelchair Basketball for the Warrior Games, has coached and mentored in the Games since 2011. He’s also played and coached Wheelchair Basketball for the last four decades and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2015. He even won a gold medal with the U.S. team in 1990 and took home MVP honors.
He was born with a disability, and at 3 years old, doctors amputated his legs. But, he pursued sports, specifically basketball, to help him cope and fit in. He turned himself into such a talent that fellow wheelchair basketball players admire him.
“I remember going to watch Lee as a child, and the things he could do and the way he could move his chair, I would go home and mimic those things in my driveway, and try to be a Lee Montgomery. He was the Michael Jordan for me,” Per4max Wheelchairs CFO Chris Kommer said in another video that will play during the 2018 opening ceremony.
You can catch Logan and Montgomery in action during the 2018 Warrior Games, which will be held June 1 – 9 at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. The Warrior Games are free and open to the public, and feature teams from the U.S. Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), United Kingdom Armed Forces, Australian Defence Force and the Canadian Armed Forces.
Athletes will face off in sports like wheelchair basketball, track & field, sitting volleyball, swimming, powerlifting and indoor rowing all to experience the healing power of competition.