After a big-city celebration, the Warrior Games are returning to familiar territory.
The adaptive-sports contest for wounded service members will be held at the Air Force Academy next year, officials announced after the close of this year's events in Chicago. The games will take place June 2-9 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the same city where they were born in 2010 as a partnership between the U.S. Olympic Committee, Defense Department and USO.
DoD has run the games since 2015, when they first moved away from Colorado Springs (home of the U.S. Olympic Training Center). Since then, services have rotated as hosts: The Marines welcomed competitors to Quantico, Virginia, in 2015, and the Army hosted at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, in 2016.
The Navy hosted this year's games in Chicago in a move to enhance exposure for the competition, DoD officials said. The move back to Colorado Springs will allow for "capitalizing on past experience" and showcase the "world-class facilities at the Air Force Academy and the outstanding hospitality of the Colorado Springs community," Air Force Col. Gina Olive, the 2018 Warrior Games director, said in a news release.
Olive accepted the Warrior Games torch from Navy Vice Adm. Mary Jackson during the closing ceremonies in Chicago on Saturday.
More than 260 athletes participated in this year's event, with Army, Air Force, Navy/Coast Guard, Marine Corps and U.S. Special Operations Command teams as well as squads from Australia and Great Britain. Adaptive-sport offerings included seated volleyball, wheelchair basketball, track and field events, swimming, archery, cycling and shooting.