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Sports make a difference for Warrior Games athletes

Editor’s Note: SportsCenter will be live from the 2017 Warrior Games in Chicago on Friday. Hannah Storm and Jon Stewart will host with reporter Michele Steele. ESPN Chicago 1000 and ESPN.com will provide daily coverage of the Games. ESPN Corporate Citizenship and ESPN Chicago, in conjunction with Up2Us Sports, will host an evening for Warrior Games athletes and their families with comedian Frank Caliendo on Thursday.

More than 260 athletes are participating in the 2017 Department of Defense Warrior Games in Chicago this week. Athletes represent the U.S. Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and Special Operations Command, as well as the U.K. Armed Forces and Australian Defence Force. Similar to last summer’s Invictus Games, this event represents the powerful impact that sports can have on peoples’ lives.

These athletes symbolize to all wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans across the nation and around the world that individuals can recover from a serious injury or illness and lead fulfilling, productive and inspiring lives.

In anticipation of the Warrior Games, a handful of competitors and Jon Stewart, the former host of “The Daily Show” and longtime advocate for veterans and servicemen and women, visited ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., campus in June to discuss the event and the powerful impact it, and sports, has on athletes’ lives.

Marine Cpl. Dakota Boyer, Marine Master Sgt. Benjamin Brodt, Army Sgt. Christopher McGinnis, Navy Petty Officer RJ Urtula and Air Force Master Sgt. Brian Williams (all featured in the video above) suffered severe injuries while serving their country. Sports have played an important role in their recovery and all of them are competing in the Games. Here are the events they will participate in while representing their respective teams:

  • Boyer (Marines) – Cycling, sitting volleyball, swimming, track
  • Brodt (SoCom) – Archery, shot put, discus, pistol shooting, sitting volleyball
  • McGinnis (Army) – Wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, shot put, discus, cycling, air rifle
  • Urtula (Navy) – Archery, shooting, track
  • Williams (Air Force) – Archery, cycling, sitting volleyball, wheelchair basketball

Diane Lamb, Jon McLeod and Samantha Baron produced the video.
Jon Stewart, athletes talk about ESPN’s coverage of Warrior Games.

(L-R) Chris McGinnis, Romulo “RJ” Urtula, Brian Williams, Benjamin Brodt, Dakota Boyer and Jon Stewart.
(Melissa Rawlins/ESPN Images)