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U.S. Military Athletes Head for World Games Aug. 4

By Rudi Williams
National Guard Bureau

WASHINGTON, July 30, 1999 – More than 350 military athletes and officials from all the services are headed for Zagreb, Croatia, to compete in the 2nd Military World Games Aug. 5-18. The Americans will compete against more than 8,000 military athletes from nearly 80 countries, DoD spokesman Navy Rear Adm. Craig Quigley said.

A send-off ceremony for the athletes will be held Aug. 4 at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., where they will have spent the night and been issued their uniforms. They will fly from Baltimore-Washington International Airport for Croatia that afternoon, Quigley told reporters July 29 during a Pentagon press briefing.

The keynote speaker for the ceremony will be Army Lt. Col. Willie Davenport, 110-meter hurdles gold medalist at the 1968 Olympics.

U.S. athletes will compete in 21 of 24 events that have been divided into four categories: combat sports, military disciplines, individual sports and team sports, according to Armed Forces Sports Office spokesman Air Force Reserve Maj. Suba Saty.

Military sports include men's and women's volleyball, naval pentathlon, judo and track and field shooting; parachuting; orienteering; taekwondo, fencing; men's wrestling and boxing; marathon; triathlon; swimming; diving; rowing; and men's soccer and basketball. Naval pentathlon includes land and water sports with running and shooting events.

"The first Military World Games were held four years ago in Rome, " Saty said. "The United States placed a respectable 8th out 83 countries in those games."

He said the World Games are held under the auspices of the Conseil International du Sport Militaire -- CISM -- French for "International Military Sports Council." CISM has 121 member nations, Saty noted, making it the second largest sporting organization in the world, surpassed only by the International Olympic Committee.

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