Warrior Games Profile: Shay Hampton

  • Published
  • By Alexx Pons
  • Air Force Wounded Warrior Program

Retired Master Sgt. Shay Hampton enlisted in the Air Force in 1992. Throughout his diverse career, Hampton deployed multiple times in support of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom, as well as operations in the Horn of Africa. 


This is Hampton’s first time competing at Warrior Games and, based on his athletic abilities, he was also selected as part of Team U.S. for the 2018 Invictus Games in Sydney, Australia. 


“Competition is in my blood; always has been. Competing in these adaptive sport games allows me to show others in my community who are ill or injured that they can still go forward in life; they are not a loss, but rather loved and cared for,” Hampton said. 


So, we are here at the Air Force Academy at your first Warrior Games; what is going through your mind right now? What are you feeling leading up to this competition? 

I am working on myself to give all I have for whatever the team needs; I want to be my best for this team.  

How does it feel being able to represent the Air Force here, specifically in this capacity - as a warrior athlete? 

I was medically separated, so my career did not end the way I wanted. It is an honor to serve the Air Force again and be able to end it now on my terms.  

Do you think the team is ready for this year’s competition? What are some of the emotions everyone is feeling? 

Yes, we are ready! What impressed me most is how quickly we have come together as a team; in a few days I have seen us become one unit.  


Nothing is without challenge, but perseverance over adversity makes us more resilient. How are all of the athletes supporting each other and keeping morale high?

All critiques and criticism is in a positive form; it does no one any good to talk down, so we all talk up.

This competition is about so much more than medals and winning; what do you personally hope to take away from this experience?

Honestly, I have already won. I am over the top just to be here; now, my focus is on giving to everyone else because I already feel like a winner. One thing I have adopted is whatever you want to do, just do it because some things are worth hurting for.

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