"I am humbled by the opportunity to still be a part of something very near and dear to my heart."
The United States Olympic Committee has announced that London 2012 gold medallist Navy Lt. Bradley Snyder will be the honorary torchbearer for the Opening Ceremony of the 2013 Warrior Games presented by Deloitte which gets underway in Colorado Springs, Colorado on Saturday (11 May).
Approximately 260 wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans will compete in the fourth annual Warrior Games utilising facilities at both the U.S. Olympic Training Centre and the U.S. Air Force Academy.
"I am humbled by the opportunity to still be a part of something very near and dear to my heart," said Lt. Snyder who lost his vision during a tour in Afghanistan when an IED exploded in September 2011 and took part in last year’s Warrior Games. He then went on to qualify in swimming for the London 2012 Paralympic Games where he won two gold medals and silver. Snyder won the men's 400m freestyle S11 on the exact one year anniversary of his injury (7 September).
"The Warrior Games have already had an impact on so many lives, and I am truly honoured to represent the U.S. Navy/Coast Guard in broadening the event," he added.
The torch relay will be a brief procession that will include the passing of the torch from one athlete from each service branch to another, culminating in the hand off to Lt. Snyder, who will light the cauldron - ceremonially signalling the official start of the 2013 Warrior Games. The Opening Ceremony is at the U.S. Olympic Training Centre.
"I can think of no better person than Lt. Brad Snyder to act as the honorary torch bearer for the Opening Ceremony of the 2013 Warrior Games presented by Deloitte," said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun. "Lt. Snyder truly shows that what happens here over six days in Colorado Springs can have a lasting impact on our wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans. Last May, he was a competitor at the Warrior Games, less than a year after losing his sight in an IED explosion in Afghanistan. He joins us this May as a three-time medallist at the Paralympic Games."
Also attending this weekend’s Opening Ceremony is Prince Harry who will take in volleyball and cycling competition during his visit.
The competition, hosted by the USOC runs through to 16 May, and is also supported by the Department of Defence, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, USO, Fisher House Foundation, AT&T, BP, Budweiser and the Semper Fi Fund.