The team had the opportunity on Wednesday (24 June) to have a day off from competition and travel to Washington DC for a day at Capitol Hill, home of the US Congress, arranged by the Warrior Games officials.
The day began with some free time to do a spot of sightseeing outside of the Capitol Hill area. Some visited the local museums, others made it to the bottom of the White House lawns, but one trio decided to sight see in style. Not only did they manage to get a lift from a police officer to the Washington Monument, they gained entry to the top of the obelisk, had some spectacular views of the city including the White House and got a free bus ride back to the rendezvous point. All in the space of 90 minutes. Impressive!
Inside the Capitol, the party joined a guided tour exploring the history of the building, its architecture and the stunning art work adorning the walls of the crypt and rotunda. Unfortunately work is being carried out on the rotunda, due to end soon, so the ceiling is part covered with a white sheet and the outside of the dome is not visible due to scaffolding, but it does make for a good photo!
When it emerged that the building was rebuilt after a fire started by an attack by British forces in 1814, the British team made themselves known, apologising, somewhat tongue in cheek, for their predecessors work.
The tour ended in Statuory Hall where the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, addressed the group. In his speech, in which he welcomed the British team alongside the US teams, he said: “We’re honoured that you’ve taken your day off to spend it at the Capitol. You show the world what’s possible. You show the world what human spirit can achieve no matter what the odds or the cost. You are our best, our toughest and you make us all very proud. So let me just say congratulations to all of you, god bless you and our great country.”
Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert O Work followed that up by adding: “I can tell you if the Secretary of Defense was here today he’d be here, but he’s asked me to convey to you that the entire senior leadership of the department of defense and all the men and women who serve in it, he wants us to salute the family members, the friends, the coaches and the medical professionals who have stood alongside the great service members who are here today and in Quantico in the recovery process. The selfless support, love and hands of friendship you provide means the world to them and to the entire department of defense. The military adaptive sports programme is such an important part of the recovery process for our wounded warriors. So thanks to all of you, from all of us.”
The day ended with dinner for athletes and their families, and the opportunity to interact with peers from other teams as one, without competing…on this occasion! Events get under way again Thursday with the Sitting Volleyball seeding matches running throughout the day.
The athletics track competition has now been rescheduled to Sunday morning following the postponement after the storm on Tuesday.