Coming Full Circle: Marc Klein and the 2018 Warrior Games

June 1, 2018

The 2018 Department of Defense Warrior Games begins today in Colorado Springs at the United States Air Force Academy. This year marks the eighth annual Games and the first with Populous in charge of design, operation and venue management. Created to bring together adaptive athletes from all branches of the military and their families, the Warrior Games is a week-long series of adaptive sporting events and the culmination of months of training and competitions. Disabled Air Force veteran and Olympic and Paralympic designer, Marc Klein, is leading Populous’ efforts.

“Working with the Department of Defense allowed us to apply years of Paralympic venue design experience to make the 2018 Warrior Games the most successful yet,” said Marc Klein, event manager at Populous. “As a veteran, it was truly an honor to combine my passion with my profession to bring this event to life.”

Following his discharge from the Air Force as the result of an injury, Marc Klein became immediately involved in the planning of the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta and entered the world of event planning and design. More than 20 years later, Marc is combining his personal passion for the armed forces with the event skills honed over the coordination of numerous Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The Warrior Games utilize a combination of permanent and temporary venues to provide world-class competition space and ample spectator seating. In addition to design and planning services, Populous is also supplying a large number of volunteers to staff the event.

Athletes compete in 11 sports over the course of the Warrior Games, including archery, cycling, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, track and field, and wheelchair basketball, indoor rowing, powerlifting, and time trial cycling. Established in 2010, the Warrior Games aim to enhance the recovery and rehabilitation of wounded, ill, and injured service members by introducing them to adaptive sports. Nearly 300 service members and veterans are taking part in the games this year. Combined with attending family members and attendees from the general public, the Warrior Games host more than 10,000 visitors throughout the course of the event. Competing athletes represent the United States Armed Forces, the United Kingdom Armed Forces, Australian Defense Force and Canadian Armed Forces.

Active-duty service members and veterans with upper-body, lower-body, and spinal cord injuries; traumatic brain injuries; visual impairment; serious illnesses; and post-traumatic stress participate. The Games encourage the athletes to stay physically active when they return to their local communities and inspire and promote opportunities for growth and achievement.

The Warrior Games join the 2016 Fort Bragg Game as a recent event designed by Populous for the armed forces. To learn more about what it takes to bring large-scale, specialized events to life, contact us at


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