TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A MacDill Air Force Base gym has served as the training facility for veterans competing in the Invictus Games, an international Paralympic competition. This year’s competition will be held next week in Orlando.
Jorge Salazar is one of the United States team members who’ll be playing wheelchair basketball. “I was honored to serve my country on the battlefield and now I am honored to serve my country on the court,” Salazar said.
Dozens of wounded veterans have been chosen to represent the US in the games. They’ll be taking on 13 other countries in 10 different sports, including floor volleyball.
Steven Davis took part in the inaugural Invictus Games, held in London in 2015, and said the competition changed his life. “Being out here with my brothers and sisters, it just uplifts me. My wife and kids support me and so it is just a great experience mentally, physically, emotionally. It is great,” Davis said.
The competition is designed to allow the athletes to show off their skills – and recover from their injuries.
Dr. Aaron Moffett coaches the US team. “I don’t want them to be active for just for one week. I want them to be active back home, and sharing their stories, and sharing their successes to others to inspire others,” Moffett said.
The wounded athletes from all over the country hope to overcome their obstacles and shine when they take to the court. “We are very proud. We are here to represent. We are definitely going to take it to the other countries,” Salazar said.
The games will begin this upcoming Sunday and run throughout that week at Disney World’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
Tickets for the games are still available.